Aloha wind? Hawaii Proposes Offshore Windfarms

Published at 02:48PM - 23/03/15

A proposal for two wind farms offshore from Hawaii has been published by The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM).

The proposals came, unsolicited, in January this year from the Texas-based AW Hawaii, a subsidiary of Danish developer, Alpha Wind Energy, and are now publicly available on the BOEM website.

The proposal comprises two floating wind farms offshore from Oahu, the third-largest and most heavily populated of Hawaii’s islands. The two projects – Oahu Northwest and Oahu South – would each feature fifty-one 8MW floating wind turbines, providing capacity of 408MW of energy.

Oahu Northwest would be located 12 miles off Oahu’s Kaena Point in depths of up to 1,000m. Oahu South would be located 17 miles from Diamond Head in seas approximately 700m deep. Alpha Wind Energy has submitted lease requests to the US Interior Department for areas of around 12,000 acres for each project.

The farms would primarily serve Oahu, which, with a population of just less than one million, has energy requirements that range from 600MW to a peak of 1,200MW.

The project is in line with the State of Hawaii’s clean energy initiative targets, which aim for 70% of energy used coming from renewable sources by 2030, with 40% of electricity coming from wind, solar and other renewables.

The US currently has no offshore wind farms in operation, although projects are being developed off the East Coast and in the Great Lakes area. The Oahu projects would be the first commercial application of floating wind technology in the country.

Last updated on 02:06PM - 25/03/15