This Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Na Pua Makani Wind Project (Project) has been prepared pursuant to Hawaii Environmental Policy Act (HEPA) (Chapter 343 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes [HRS]). The Project would be partially located on State of Hawaii lands, triggering environmental review under HEPA. Therefore, the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) serve as the lead agencies for this EIS. A portion of the proposed Project’s transmission line would occur within the State of Hawaii Department of Transportation right-ofway, which is also a trigger for environmental review under HEPA and is addressed through this EIS. The purpose of this document is to inform the public and the permitting agencies about the potential adverse and beneficial environmental impacts of the construction and operation of the proposed Project (the Proposed Action), and to recommend mitigation measures that will avoid or reduce significant adverse impacts to the maximum extent possible.
The purpose of the proposed Project is to provide clean, renewable wind energy for the island of Oahu. The proposed Project would provide economic benefits by contributing to the local economy, generating new jobs, and providing a stable, long-term source of tax revenue for the state and county. The power generated by the wind farm would be sold to the Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) under a long-term, fixed base price contract with fixed annual escalation providing longterm price stability for consumers. The energy delivered by the proposed Project would help HECO meet its Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), established in HRS § 269-92, and the State of Hawai’i goal of increasing energy independence through the development of additional sources of renewable energy. To accomplish this purpose, NPMPP proposes to construct and operate a new wind farm on state and private lands near the town of Kahuku, adjacent to the existing Kahuku Wind Farm with a net generating capacity of up to approximately 25 megawatts (MW).
The original Draft EIS considered a Proposed Action of up to 10 wind turbines. In response to public comments on the original Draft EIS, a Modified Proposed Action Option (consisting of only nine turbines with larger generating capacities and dimensions) was added to the Second Draft EIS analysis. The Project would also include an underground electrical collection system, an onsite substation, an operations and maintenance (O&M) facility and related infrastructure, access roads, an approximately 0.8-mile (1.2 kilometer) 34.5-kilovolt HECO-owned transmission line, and a permanent meteorological tower. Because the proposed Project could potentially impact species listed under the Federal ESA, NPMPP is preparing a joint Federal and State Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) to accompany its application for an Incidental Take Permit (ITP) from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and an Incidental Take License (ITL) from the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) under Hawaii Revised Statute (HRS) Section 195D.
The EIS addresses alternatives to the Proposed Action (and Modified Proposed Action Option), including the No Action Alternative and a larger generation facility of up to approximately 42 MW (Alternative 3). Under the No Action Alternative, the Project would not be constructed. Under the No Action Alternative, Project objectives listed in Chapter 1 would not be met. However, this Na Pua Makani Wind Project ES-1 FINAL ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT alternative establishes a baseline against which the action alternatives can be compared. Alternative 3 (larger generation facility) would involve the construction and operation of up to 12 turbines and associated infrastructure, constructed in two phases. Alternatives that were eliminated from further consideration include smaller (less than 25 MW) and larger (more than 42 MW) facilities, alternative locations on Oahu, and other alternative renewable energy sources. These preliminary alternatives were subsequently dismissed if it was determined they did not meet the Project’s Purpose and Need or the Project’s objectives, described in Chapter 1 of this EIS.
The original Draft EIS was prepared and published as a joint state/federal document meeting HEPA and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements. Due to differences in procedural requirements, the HEPA and NEPA processes have diverged and will continue along separate paths, with this EIS fulfilling requirements under HEPA. The NEPA Final EIS has been published under separate cover. Where information supports the analysis or provides additional context, reference to the NEPA process has been retained.