Kawailoa Wind Farm, Haleiwa, Hawaii

Photos by RMT Inc.
Hawaiis largest wind farm transformed former sugar cane fields into grazing pastures and a 69-MW powerplant.

Hawaii's largest wind project, built on former sugar cane fields that now serve as cattle grazing pastures, is delivering renewable energy for almost 14,500 Oahu homes. Completed in October 2012, the 69-MW wind farm near Haleiwa includes 30 2.3-MW Siemens wind turbine generators. It is the first project in the U.S. to use these turbines on towers that measure about 312 ft tall, according to RMT. Targeting LEED Silver, Kawailoa also required the construction of roads and jeep trails, a stormwater drainage ditch, collector systems and a transmission line. The project team was constantly challenged by the area's high winds and heavy rain, along with limited delivery times for materials and valley terrain that required helicopters to string the transmission lines.

Key Players

Contractor RMT Inc., Madison, Wis.

Owner First Wind, Boston

Lead Design RMT Inc., Madison, Wis.

Structural Engineer Earth Systems Global Inc., Bermuda Dunes, Calif.

Subcontractors Henkels & McCoy, Kapolei, Hawaii; Goodfellow Bros., Kihei, Hawaii