Maui News

Auwahi Wind Farm Would Power 6600 Homes

March 23, 2011, 9:15 AM HST
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By Wendy Osher

Auwahi Wind Project simulated view by Tetra Tech EC, Inc., courtesy Draft EIS. Click image to view in greater detail.

Public comment is being accepted on a Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Auwahi Wind Farm at Ulupalakua Ranch. The 21 MW facility would generate enough energy to power as many as 6,600 households.

The power generated by the wind farm would be sold to the Maui Electric
Company (MECO) under a long-term, fixed base price contract with fixed annual escalation for long-term price stability.

Projected benefits of the project include diversification of Maui’s power supply, contributions to the state’s energy independence and security, and its ability to help meet the state’s established regulatory requirements and initiatives for clean energy in the future.

Cultural Significance

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The 390-page DEIS document also includes a section on archeological and cultural resources. A pedestrian survey of the area identified 169
archaeological sites comprising more than 1,053 features.

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Oral histories from residents of the area speak of the “red light district” of trails that fishermen used to negotiate with farmers.  According to the document, “fishermen would dry the fish and, when the negotiation was complete, would burn a red fire, bundle up the fish, and walk up the trails to trade.”   According to the elder’s oral history, many of the pre-contact inhabitants divided their time seasonally between two hale, one mauka and one makai.

One elder interpreted the meaning of Auwahi as the presence of “The Heat Raising.”  The word auwahi is defined in the Pukui/Elbert Hawaiian Dictionary as relating to uahi or smoke.  One source says it refers to lowly or humble persons.

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