WIND | In Operation
- Location: Maui, HI
- Capacity: 21 MW
- Homes Powered: About 10,000
- Completed: Late 2012
- Customer: Maui Electric Company
Jointly owned by Sempra U.S. Gas & Power and BP Wind Energy, Auwahi Wind is located on the wind-rich Ulupalakua Ranch on the southeast coast of Maui, Hawaii. The wind farm was completed in late 2012, bringing Hawaii closer to its goal of securing 40 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030. The project's eight turbines generate enough electricity to power approximately 10,000 typical Maui homes.
An important component of the project is an 11-megawatt (MW) grid battery system. Energy from the battery system helps to regulate and sustain power to Maui Electric Company's grid during variable wind conditions. The battery storage component of this project includes state-of-the-art monitoring and safety controls that ensure reliable operation for the life of the project.
The wind power from Auwahi Wind is sold to Maui Electric Company under a 20-year contract.
Commitment to Community
The Auwahi Wind project has enabled Ulupalakua Ranch to continue ranching operations. A farm lease agreement between Sempra U.S. Gas & Power and Ulupalakua Ranch provides the ranch's owners with the opportunity to thrive as cattle farmers and to maintain the rural character of thousands of acres of open space.
Sempra U.S. Gas & Power helped to implement infrastructure improvements for native Hawaiians living in kahikinui, a remote community neighboring the Auwahi Wind project. For decades, these residents have lived “off the grid,” relying on the government and private sectors for assistance with modern infrastructure. Sempra U.S. Gas & Power funded and managed a major road improvement project that enables residents to traverse more easily through mountainous terrain.
Maui Economic Development Board received funding through a grant from Sempra U.S. Gas & Power for the development of a new education app aimed at teaching science and math students about wind farms. These funds also supported the translation of island energy curriculum into the Hawaiian language for use in immersion science classrooms.
- Created about 180 construction jobs at the peak of construction and four positions to operate the facility
- Supports Hawaii's efforts to obtain 40 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030
- Provides a new source of clean, locally produced power
- Includes up to 4.4 MWh storage capacity (11 MW power capacity) to support stability of the power grid
- Helps preserve the rural and agricultural character of the development site for future generations
- Provides economic benefits to the community, including infrastructure improvements and new sources of revenue to local land owners and government entities, plus local providers of goods and services
Sempra U.S. Gas & Power is joined by Hawaii Lt. Governor Brian Schatz, business leaders and members of the community to celebrate the start of construction on the Auwahi Wind farm in Maui, Hawaii.