New Auwahi Wind Project Dedicated To Maui's Energy Independence
ULUPALAKUA, Maui, Hawaii, Feb. 22, 2013
ULUPALAKUA, Maui, Hawaii, Feb. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. Sen. Brian
Schatz, Hawaii Lt. Gov. Shan Tsutsui and Maui County Mayor Alan Arakawa today
joined officials from Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, BP Wind Energy and community
leaders for the dedication of the new Auwahi Wind facility on Ulupalakua
The eight wind turbines are situated along the slopes of the Haleakala volcano
and generate enough electricity to power 10,000 local homes.
More than 200 guests attended Friday's dedication ceremony, which included
traditional Hawaiian chants and prayers.
Sen. Schatz said the Auwahi wind farm contributes significantly to Hawaii's
clean energy goals. He said the project is consistent with the State of
Hawaii's values of cooperation, contributing to a solution nationally on
climate change and maintaining the ranching lifestyle on Ulupalakua Ranch.
"Auwahi Wind Farm is critically important," he said. "This is about keeping
Maui Maui and setting an example not just for the state, but the rest of the
Tsutsui, who was born and raised on Maui, said the state and the island
welcomed the Auwahi Wind farm as it brought much-needed jobs. More than 180
jobs were created during the project construction. Four full-time employees
operate the wind farm today.
"We're always talking about sustainability and being independent," Tsutsui
said. "This goes hand in hand with a lot of our initiatives. It's definitely a
step in the right direction and we look much forward to other projects."
"We are very pleased that Auwahi Wind was completed on time, on budget and,
most importantly, with an impeccable safety record," said Kevin C. Sagara,
vice president ofrenewables and corporate developmentfor Sempra U.S. Gas &
Power. "This project will provide clean, sustainable power to Maui residents
for generations and will bring Hawaii another step closer to meeting its goal
to derive 40 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2030."
The 21-megawatt (MW) Auwahi Wind facility represents BP and Sempra's first
alternative energy venture in Hawaii.
"Today is a celebration for the community of Maui in harnessing wind power as
part of a diverse and adequate energy supply," said John Graham, president &
CEO of BP Wind Energy. "On behalf of the owners of Auwahi Wind, I would like
to thank the local community, the Ulupalakua Ranch, and neighbors without whom
this project would not be the success it is."
Maui Electric Co. President Sharon Suzuki said the project provides a valuable
energy alternative for the island.
"The addition of the Auwahi Wind project brings Maui's total installed
capacity of wind generation to 72 MW, a great accomplishment for such a small
island and one that will help further our efforts to break our dependence on
foreign oil," she said.
An important component of the project is an 11-MW/4.4-megawatt-hourgrid
battery system. At its peak, this system is capable of 11 MW sustained for
approximately 25 minutes. The battery system's energy helps regulate and
sustain power to Maui Electric Co.'s grid during light wind conditions.
"We are especially pleased with the work Sempra and BP have accomplished in
using a state-of-the-art battery system to help compensate for the
fluctuations of variable wind," Suzuki said. "This high level of wind
penetration on Maui would not be possible without such innovative measures."
Sumner Erdman, president of the Ulupalakua Ranch, said the ranch has benefited
from its partnership with Sempra U.S. Gas & Power and BP.
"Now, we can preserve much of our ranch land and its grazing areas in open
space and continue to raise cattle," he said. "Auwahi Wind will go a long way
toward preserving the ranching lifestyle at Ulupalakua and on Maui."
Ulupalakua Ranch is one of the largest cattle ranches on Maui. The Erdmans are
environmentalists and have been its owners since 1963.
Construction of Auwahi Wind began in March 2012. More information on Auwahi
Wind is available at www.SempraUSGP.com/Auwahi.
BP has invested more in the United States over the last five years than any
other oil and gas company. With more than $55 billion in capital spending
between 2008 and 2012, BP invests more in the U.S. than in any other country.
BP is the nation's second largest producer of oil and gas, a major oil refiner
and a leader in alternative energy sources. BP provides enough energy each
year to light the entire country. With 21,000 U.S. employees, BP supports
nearly a quarter of a million domestic jobs through its business activities.
For more information, visit www.bp.com.
Since 2005, BP Alternative Energy has invested around $8 billion in
alternative energy development, with more than $4 billion invested the U.S. BP
Wind Energy is a principal owner and operator of wind power facilities in the
U.S. with interests in 16 wind farms across nine states. BP Wind Energy has a
gross generating capacity of nearly 2,600 MW – enough electricity to power
more than 775,000 average American homes. For more information, visit the
company's Web site at http://www.bpalternativenergy.com.
About Sempra U.S. Gas & Power
Sempra U.S. Gas & Power, LLC is a leading developer of renewable energy and
natural gas solutions. The company operates solar, wind and natural gas power
plants, along with natural gas storage and pipelines and distribution
utilities. Sempra U.S. Gas & Power is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE:
SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company with 2011 revenues of $10
billion. The Sempra Energy companies' nearly 17,000 employees serve about 31
million consumers worldwide. For more information, visit www.SempraUSGP.com.
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SOURCE Sempra U.S. Gas & Power
Contact: Art Larson/Lisa Briggs, Sempra Energy, +1-877-340-8875,
firstname.lastname@example.org, or Matt Hartwig, BP America, +1-281-366-4463,
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