Last Friday, politicians in Hawaii helped to break ground at what will soon become Hawaii’s largest wind farm. The Kawailoa Wind Farm, which is being built on Oahu’s north shore will be the source of 68 MW of power and will provide 5%-10% of the energy needed on the island. The project is being built by First Wind and is being constructed on Kamehameha Schools’ Kawailoa Plantation lands.

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“This groundbreaking for Kawailoa Wind is a historic occasion for Hawaii because, as the largest wind project ever in the state, it will harness enough clean, sustainable energy to provide power for thousands of families on Oahu,” said Senator Akaka at the event. “Renewable electricity production makes our islands more energy self-sufficient, environmentally sustainable, and secure, which is critically important now and for future generations.” The community that lives near the new wind farm has been supportive of the project and has even assisted in the planning stages. The state also has one of the most ambitious clean energy mandates in the country as Hawaii officials are hoping to get 70% of their power and transportation energy from renewable sources by 2030.

“The Kawailoa Wind project is an integral part of our North Shore Plan and represents the continued commitment of Kamehameha Schools, through the support of the North Shore community, to positioning Kawailoa Plantation as an important provider of sustainable food and energy for the State of Hawaii,” said Giorgio Caldarone, Regional Asset Manager and Renewable Energy Sector Lead, Kamehameha Schools. The project is First Wind’s fourth project in the state and is a part of an agreement between Hawaii Public Utilities Commission and the State of Hawaii for the purchase of renewable energy for Hawaii Public Utilities Commission’s 400,000 customers. First Wind projects in Hawaii have already brought over 200,000 labor hours of employment to Hawaii’s workforce and that will rise significantly as the Kawailoa continues construction throughout 2012. First Wind has not released the date that the project will go online.

Via Clean Technica

Lead image and third image by Ricardo Mangual on Flickr

Second image by Merfam on Flickr