Hawaii Supreme Court asked to block opening of controversial wind project

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON) — Non-profit organization Keep The North Shore Country issued a press release about a request sent to the Hawaii Supreme Court to block the opening of the Na Pua Makani wind energy project in Kahuku. The press release is as follows:

“Keep the North Shore Country (KNSC) has requested the Hawai’i Supreme Court to
order a stay of AES/Na Pua Makani’s (NPM) license to kill endangered species for its Kahuku
wind turbine project pending the Court’s decision on KNSC’s appeal.

The appeal challenges the Board of Land and Natural Resources’ decision to grant a license to
kill seven threatened and endangered native bird species (a‘o, koloa maoli, ae‘o, ‘alae ke‘oke‘o,
‘alae‘ula, nene, and pueo) and the endangered ‘ōpe‘ape‘a (Hawaiian hoary bat). The Supreme
Court accepted the case earlier this year.

KNSC’s challenge raises three problem areas with the Land Board’s decisions: not requiring a
higher wind speed cut-in, Board member Samuel Gon’s participation in both the advisory
committee recommendations and the Board’s vote on the permit and referring to matters not
in the record, and ex parte communications from a senator in favor of the project.

NPM recently announced that it would start operations this “Summer 2020,” even though
August is the peak time for killing ‘ōpe‘ape‘a with wind turbines. Currently, the Board has
approved killing 244 ‘ōpe‘ape‘a on O`ahu and researchers have advised against assuming any
more than 1,000 exist on O‘ahu. “We cannot allow NPM to start killing bats now, when there is
a possibility that the Court would later invalidate the permit,” said Senator Gil Riviere, the
President of Keep the North Shore Country.

Dr. Tēvita O. Ka‘ili, professor of cultural anthropology and President of the Kahuku Community
Association notes the name of the wind of Kahuku is “Ahamanu,” which means the gathering of
manu, which may refer to birds and other winged creatures. “Killing these manu would deprive
current and future generations of a necessary part of their natural environment and, for native
Hawaiians, a vital resource for traditional and customary practices. That is deeply troubling,”
declared Dr. Ka‘ili.”

In an email to KHON2, CEO for the AES US Generation business Mark Miller said: “The Nā Pua Makani wind project has received all necessary permits and approvals. We do not anticipate the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court’s decision will delay the delivery of this vitally-needed renewable energy for Hawai‘i’s future.”

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