Wind energy is being touted as a key component to meeting Hawai'i's energy needs. However, improper siting of these machines can lead to impacts on safety, residents well being, real property values, visitor opinions and even a community's identity. Kahuku currently has a wind facility about 1 mile to the north. There is another proposed facility that would place turbines to the west and south of Kahuku effectively surrounding the neighborhood. However, these proposed turbines may be as close as 1600' which is three times closer. Recent and past events that have occurred with Kahuku's existing and previous wind energy facilities have proven that components associated with this technology need further evaluation and strickter safety controls. Currently, the ordinance regarding safety set backs requires only 1 times the height of the turbine blade which is grossly inadequate considering these machines are 500' tall with moving parts. Noise, shadow flicker, night and day visual impacts, bird strikes, are some of the more prominent issues associated with this technology and health impacts on humans living in close proximity to turbines is under vigorous debate. Wind energy industry representatives claim no ill affects. Other industries have made similar claims before impartial studies and empirical evidence proved otherwise. We should err on the side of caution and not place large industrial turbines adjacent to established communities or occupied any dwellings for that matter.
Please consider adopting more stringent safety zone requirements that prevent industrial wind turbines from negatively impacting residential neighborhoods. Due to past catastrophic events involving large wind turbines or systems associated with this technology, a moratorium on issuing permits may be in order until such a time where all prudent safety and proximity issues have been adequately studied and sufficiently addressed.