Fish and Wildlife Service seeks input on modified Na Pua wind project in Hawaii

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with a Nov. 17 Federal Register notice will go out for comment related to an incidental take permit application from Na Pua Makani Power Partners LLC under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA).

The requested permit would authorize the take of one threatened and six endangered species caused by covered activities associated with a wind generation project on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. The permit application included the proposed Na Pua Makani Wind Energy Project Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP), which described the activities that may result in the incidental taking of listed species, and the measures the applicant will take to minimize mitigate, and monitor for adverse impacts to the covered species.

The applicant modified the proposed action in the HCP in response to public comments and the modified HCP is available for public review pursuant to this notice. The service also announces the availability of a Supplemental Final Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) addressing the modified proposed action in accordance with the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA).

If issued, the ITP would authorize incidental take of the covered species that may occur as a result of the construction and operation of the Na Pua Makani Wind Energy Project over a 21-year period.

Comment will be taken for 30 days after Nov. 17.

Na Pua Makani Power Partners, a subsidiary of Champlin Hawaii Wind Holdings LLC, is requesting this ITP. Based on a public comment, the applicant modified its HCP to reduce the maximum number of wind turbines that could be built from ten to nine. The modified HCP also provides for an increase in the maximum size of those turbines to maintain the same generating capacity.

The applicant proposes to construct and operate the wind energy project on approximately 707 acres of public and private lands near the town of Kahuku on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. The proposed project, as modified, would have a generating capacity of up to approximately 25 MW and would supply electricity to the Hawaii Electric Co. The project would consist of up to nine wind turbine generators (WTG), one permanent un-guyed lattice-frame meteorological tower, up to 4.9 miles of new and existing access roads, an operations and maintenance facility, electrical collection and interconnection infrastructure, an electrical substation, and a temporary laydown area.

The applicant is considering a variety of WTG models, each ranging from 427 feet to 656 feet in height, and having up to 3.3 MW of generating capacity. The applicant would select the most appropriate WTG models prior to construction.

The service will issue a Record of Decision and issue or deny the permit no sooner than 30 days after publication of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s notice of availability of the SEIS.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.