DOE finalizes $117 million loan guarantee for Hawaii wind power project

Washington D.C., July 27, 2010 — Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced that the Department of Energy has finalized a $117 million loan guarantee for Kahuku Wind Power, LLC, the owner and operator of the Kahuku Wind Power project.

The project includes the development of a 30 MW wind power plant that will supply electricity to about 7,700 households per year. According to company estimates, the project, located in Kahuku, Hawaii, will create over 200 jobs on the island of Oahu.

“This project is another example of America’s leadership in the global clean energy economy,” said Secretary Chu. “Through the Recovery Act, we are supporting innovative projects that are adding to our workforce in the short term while laying the foundation for additional job creation in the long term.”

The project is expected to be the first to meet reliability requirements for wind and solar energy set by Hawaiian Electric Co., the only electric utility operating on Oahu. Successful integration of these new, clean energy technologies is expected to result in increased renewable energy generation and wind energy expansion in Hawaii.

The Kahuku wind power plant uses twelve 2.5 MW Liberty wind turbine generators manufactured by Clipper Windpower of Carpinteria, California and a 10 MW battery energy storage system manufactured by Xtreme Power Inc. of Kyle, Texas.

The BESS will modulate and smooth fluctuations in power output caused by changes in wind levels. When completed, Kahuku will produce the first-ever combined installation of Clipper wind turbines and Xtreme’s battery energy storage system.

First Wind Holdings, LLC, the project sponsor and independent U.S.-based wind energy developer, successfully built and currently operates Hawaii’s largest wind energy facility, the 30 MW Kaheawa Wind project in Maui. Kaheawa Wind serves nearly nine percent of Maui’s annual electricity needs with clean, renewable energy.

Including this loan, the Department of Energy‘s Loan Programs Office has closed or offered conditional commitments for loan guarantees to support 13 clean energy projects.



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