A wind farm development in the hills that overlook the North Shore is being met with disapproval from some North Shore residents. When completed in November, the Kawailoa wind farm, which will contain 30 turbines and stretch across the North Shore, will be the biggest wind farm in the state. Proponents to the development argue that the farm will provide power for 14,500 homes and up to five to 10 percent of the island’s power, while avoiding the burning of 300,000 barrels of oil annually.
But for surfers like North Shore resident Kevin Turner, the development is seen as offensive. Turner believes the 30 turbines that overlook parts of Haleiwa, Waialua, and Waimea Bay will become an eyesore to North Shore residents and visitors.
“I’m not anti-sustainable energy at all, I just think that with all of the cultural heritage of the valley, they could have put them somewhere else,” said Turner. “There’s a lot of cultural significance to the to the area and I’m not the only one who feels that way…these gigantic wind turbines must come down and be moved to viable locations that won’t affect Waimea, a truly priceless and culturally sensitive site.” Turner also believes that the spinning blades of the turbine could cause surfers at Waimea to become disoriented, making a potentially lethal wave even more dangerous.
According to Sean Moody, who calls Waialua home and has built a career as a professional surfer on the North Shore, the turbines may not appeal to everyone, but they’re crucial to Hawaii becoming energy independent.
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