The Kahuku Wind Farm of Hawaii has been laden with controversy since its inception in 2011. Although it was one of the two wind farms on Oahu responsible for supplying a combined 14% of the island’s renewable energy in 2018, citizens have been outspoken in their criticism of the facility. Local residents have cited concerns regarding adverse health effects to the surrounding community, as well as deaths of native birds and endangered bats caused by the turbines. The impact on the Hawaiian hoary bat population has been a focal point of numerous complaints, as more bats are being killed than initially predicted. To the dismay of their opponents, eight additional turbines are being erected in Kahuku as part of the Na Pua Makani Wind Energy Project. And, as of November 2019, approximately 200 individuals have been arrested while protesting it. To add to the controversy, wind farm officials are currently facing legal hurdles, as challengers are skeptical on whether the project’s environmental review correctly estimates the number of birds and bats that will fall victim to this new development. The purpose of this study is to analyze and evaluate the issues associated with the Kahuku Wind Farm and Na Pua Makani Wind Energy Project, as well as the position and arguments of stakeholders and litigants.
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