First Wind receives DOE loan guarantee for wind
First Wind, an independent United States based
wind energy company, was offered a conditional commitment from
the Department of Energy (DOE) for a $117 million loan guarantee
to finance the construction of its proposed 30 megawatt (MW)
Kahuku Wind project.
Located in Kahuku, Hawaii, the project will have the capacity
to generate enough wind energy to power approximately 7,700 Oahu
homes each year.
The Kahuku Wind project will support the Hawaii Clean Energy
Initiative, which aims to have 70 percent of the state’s energy
for electricity and ground transportation come from clean energy
by 2030. The work on the Kahuku Wind project will create employment
opportunities during design, engineering and construction including
approximately 200 construction jobs.
The project is in final permitting stages. Construction will
begin after the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission approves the
project and the DOE guaranteed funding is in place.
First Wind intends to incorporate innovative technology in its
Kahuku Wind project: a 15 MVA, 10 MW/hour battery energy storage
system to enhance electricity load stability. Developed by Xtreme
Power, of Kyle, Texas, the patented battery system will enable
the Kahuku Wind project to store energy and provide as much as
10 MW of power for at least an hour during periods of low wind
speeds. The Kahuku Wind project will also include twelve 2.5
MW Clipper Liberty™ turbines. Manufactured in Cedar Rapids, Iowa,
the Liberty turbines are the largest wind turbines manufactured
in North America.
The DOE’s Loan Programs Office manages the nation’s green energy
loan portfolio and is authorized to issue loan guarantees under
Title XVII of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 for eligible projects
that (a) avoid, reduce, or sequester air pollutants or anthropogenic
emissions of greenhouse gases and (b) employ new or significantly
improved technologies as compared to technologies in service
in the United States at the time the guarantee is issued.
First Wind successfully built and currently operates Hawaii’s
largest wind energy facility, the 30 MW Kaheawa Wind project
in Maui. Kaheawa Wind serves nearly 9 percent of Maui’s annual
electricity needs with clean, renewable energy.