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Hawai'i Free Press

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Wednesday, November 21, 2018
Wind Farm: Hearing to Consider Plan to Kill More Bats, Petrels
By News Release @ 11:00 PM :: 738 Views :: Energy, Environment

KAWAILOA WIND POWER DRAFT HABITAT CONSERVATION PLAN AMENDMENT HEARING, NOV. 20, 2018

News Release from DLNR, Nov 20, 2018

(Honolulu) – An open hearing will be held to receive testimony on the September 28, 2018 submittal of the Kawailoa Wind Power Draft Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) amendment. Kawailoa Wind, LLC currently operates a 30-turbine, 69-megawatt wind energy generation facility on agricultural lands in Kawailoa on the northern portion of the Island of O’ahu. The facility supplies electricity to Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc.

The DLNR Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) hearing will be held at 6:00 pm on Thursday November 29, 2018 at Kaʻala Elementary School, 130 California Avenue in Wahiawa.

The project has an approved HCP and associated Incidental Take License (ITL) that was issued January 6th, 2012 for take of seven species protected under State and Federal endangered species laws.

Model estimates show that the take limit of one of these species, the Hawaiian Hoary Bat (Lasiurus cinereus semotus), has been reached and Kawailoa Wind is requesting an increased take for it. Low wind speed curtailment has been implemented for increasing periods of time as an impact minimization measure, but the bat take has continued to occur at levels higher than anticipated in the approved HCP. Mitigation for the Hawaiian Hoary Bat would consist of the acquisition, preservation, and restoration of habitat.

Additionally, take has occurred of a protected bird species, the Hawaiian Petrel (Pterodroma sandwichensis), not included in the approved HCP and ITL.  Kawailoa Wind has requested in its draft HCP amendment that the Hawaiian petrel be also added as a covered species for the remainder of the 20-year ITL term. Mitigation for the Hawaiian petrel would include funding predator control, and burrow monitoring at two seabird colony sites in Hanakapiai and Hanakoa, Kaua’i. The wind facility would implement avoidance and minimization measures, monitoring, and tiered mitigation commensurate with the new take levels.

Copies of the draft HCP amendment are available for review at the DOFAW office in Honolulu and at this link. A review copy will also be available at the public hearing.

If you decide to attend the hearing and require auxiliary aids (taped materials or sign language interpreter) please contact the Division of Forestry and Wildlife, 1151 Punchbowl Street, Room 325, Honolulu, HI 96813; (808) 587-0166. If you are unable to attend the hearing and wish to provide testimony, please provide comments by December 24, 2018 and direct them to Glenn Metzler at the address listed above or to glenn.m.metzler@hawaii.gov 

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