Maui Economic Development Board was awarded a $10,000 gift during the recent Auwahi Wind farm blessing. Half of the money will go toward early placement of Auwahi Wind farm (under construction) in the newest version of the Clean Energy STEM Hawaii iPad app. This includes an identified “pushpin” map location and brief description of the wind project.
Another $5,000 will be dedicated to the Native Hawaiian translation of the wind renewable energy module in MEDB’s acclaimed Island Energy Inquiry curriculum for teachers and students.
In addition, Sempra U.S. Gas & Power — the developers of Auwahi Wind — pledged to serve as a sponsor for the third consecutive year at the annual MEDB’s Ke Alahele Education Fund dinner in August. The money goes to support diverse science and technology grants and programs.
Sempra held a groundbreaking on April 27 to mark the official start of construction of the 21-megawatt (MW) Auwahi Wind Project, located on Ulupalakua Ranch on the southeast coast of Maui.
In celebration of its groundbreaking, Sempra presented $10,000 to MEDB’s President and CEO Jeanne Skog. She was joined by state Department of Education Hawaiian Language Immersion Program Specialist Pulama Collier for the presentation.
Auwahi Wind will help the state of Hawaii reach its goal of securing 40 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030. When fully operational in 2012, the wind farm’s eight turbines will generate enough clean electricity to power about 10,000 typical Maui homes at stable and predictable prices.
“This project underscores the opportunity that Maui has for new industry, new opportunities for our youth,” Skog said. “What is happening in energy is resonating with our kids, you cannot imagine. They know what’s going on,” Skog told Sempra officials. “ You are providing such a sense of hope for them.”
MEDB is also marking a special celebration of its own, having marked 30 years of service on Maui on April 22nd. “So this is some birthday gift,” Skog said at the Auwahi Wind program.
State Department of Education Hawaiian Immersion Program Specialist Pulama Collier spoke in her native language, thanking Sempra for its gift for supporting the perpetuation of the Hawaiian language. She described Auwahi has an empowering place for Hawaii and for her Immersion Language students who have spent time in the area replanting Native Hawaiian plants.