Big Wind was a 400-megawatt wind project initially proposed for Molokai and/or Lanai, with the electricity distributed to Oahu via undersea cable.
But the Molokai portion of the project was stymied after the developer, Molokai Ranch, lost its lease to the land while waiting for the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission to release a long overdue RFP.
The Lanai portion of the project is still on the table. Castle & Cooke's David Murdock sold the island to billionaire Larry Ellison in 2012 but retained development rights to the windfarm.
The project was part of the energy agreement signed in October 2008 between the State of Hawaii, the state Consumer Advocate and the Hawaiian Electric companies under the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, an earlier agreement signed in January 2008 by the governor of Hawaii and the U.S. Department of Energy. HCEI's goal is 70 percent clean energy for electricity and ground transportation in Hawaii by 2030. As part of its commitment to reach 40 percent renewable energy by 2030, Hawaiian Electric pledged to expand its renewable energy portfolio by at least 1,100 megawatts (MW). Act 155 in 2009 established as state law the increased renewable energy goal — 40 percent of electric sales from renewables by 2030 as well as 30 percent energy efficiency savings by that date.