Thank You Interior Secretary Zinke: Harmful Unnecessary North Shore Wind Farms
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FROM: Grateful Public, April 15, 2017
TO: Department of the Interior Secretary Zinke, 1849 C Street, N.W., Washington DC 20240
Aloha e Secretary Zinke,
We are writing to express our deep gratitude for your Department’s April 12, 2017, decision to put consideration of at-sea wind farm development off Ka’ena Point on the North Shore of O‘ahu on hold indefinitely and to give you our full support for any future O‘ahu wind farm permit decisions in which your Department selects environmentally preferable clean energy alternatives rather than very harmful wind development. Because Hawai‘i is situated at 21⁰ latitude and abundant non-wind alternative energy resources are readily available, we reject wind farm development in locations where it would have unmitigated harm to Native Hawaiian communities, cultural practices, human health, endangered bats, fishing, the quality of swells and offshore winds so critical to our World-renowned surfing, our lives, and our military and tourism economy. Alternatives such as solar on grazing land with battery storage would be environmentally preferable to any wind farm your Department might address in Hawaii. Surfers4Solar.org has confirmed there is adequate grazing land on O‘ahu for solar energy with energy storage to provide the clean energy of both the Na Pua Makani Wind farm and the proposed at-sea wind development. In keeping with your Department’s charge to conserve cultural resources and endangered species, we hope you will reject applications from any wind farm (such as the Na Pua Makani Wind Farm your Department is currently considering) that fails to lawfully address these significant effects and that you select an environmentally preferable alternative such as solar.
Figure 1 (available at https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10211539574581028&set=gm.1334090540017853&type=3&theater Thank you for your decision to not move forward with the Ka’ena Point “O‘ahu North” BOEM wind farm lease applications.
Na Pua Makani Wind Farm: Na Pua Makani Wind Farm is continuing to pursue development of a wind farm looming over a Native Hawaiian town opposed to the project, and five miles upwind (due east) from world-famous Pipeline surf break that relies on the offshore winds for wave conditions. In addition, Na Pua Makani’s calculations of anticipated “take” of endangered Hawaiian hoary bats are calculated on a per-turbine basis based on take at turbines with rotor swept zones only ½ the size of the proposed turbines. Proposed mitigation for take of bats will harm individual bats while not offsetting take of a single bat killed by the wind farm.
Not only does the Federal SFEIS relating to issuance of a permit for incidental take of endangered species by the Na Pua Makani Wind Farm not include a solar alternative, it indicates “Adverse effects to property values not anticipated.” and “no high or adverse effects to any minority or low income population and, therefore, no environmental justice issues resulting from this Project.” Renderings of a portion of the proposed wind farm, clipped directly from the project’s SFEIS (Figure 2) speak for themselves regarding the severe infrasound, turbine flicker, and viewshed impacts the Na Pua Makani Wind Farm would have to property value in Kahuku town.
Figure 2 (see link to picture at https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10211551331794951&l=24c5b6bd01 Proposed Na Pua Makani Wind Farm renderings clipped directly from Federal SFEIS: Left: Rooftops of Kahuku town viewed from Kahuku Golf Course with proposed 656-foot (200-meter) wind turbines in the “background” behind the town; Right: Kahuku Elementary School and adjacent proposed wind turbines.
In stark contrast to the project’s EIS, Census Data for Kahuku CDP indicates: Total Population: 2,614 people in 622 housing units (53% owner-occupied; 47% renting); White: 8.6% (224), Native Hawaiian: 34% (888), Filipino: 26% (641), two or more races 31% (823); 62% born in Hawai‘i, 23.5% born in foreign country. Less than high school graduate: 25% of population 25 years and older did not graduate from high school (incl. equivalency); 53% of these people completed no more than 8th grade.
We hope your Department will agree the adverse effects of this proposed Na Pua Makani wind farm to the human and natural environment are completely unnecessary in light of the ready availability of solar power with energy storage alternatives and you will not permit the wind farm.
We deeply appreciate your decision to put the North Shore O‘ahu at-sea wind farm development on hold and for your thoughtful consideration of real clean energy alternatives instead of the proposed harmful unnecessary Na Pua Makani wind farm development.
Me ka mahalo nui,
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