Windmills on top of the West Maui Mountains
In 2006, twenty windmills operated by First Wind began generating about 9% of Maui’s electric power. The windmills are located on a ridge on the West Maui Mountains, overlooking Maalaea. Fourteen more windmills went into operation there in 2012, so they produced enough electricity for 18,700 of Maui’s homes. Eight more windmills went into operation at the end of 2012 at the south end of Upcountry Maui near Ulapalakua Ranch, producing electricity for an additional 10,000 homes, with 21 megawatts of production and an 11-megawatt battery to store power. Most of the rest of Maui’s electricity is produced by burning oil, where you can see the group of smokestacks in the south part of the central valley in Maalaea. (A small amount of Maui’s electricity comes from burning coal in Puunene.) Hawaii’s goal is to get 40% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030.
You can glimpse the tops of the West Maui windmills as you drive toward Maalaea on the road around the south side of West Maui. But the best view of the windmills is from the beaches in Kihei, or from the Boardwalk in Maalaea. You can also see them with binoculars from Upcountry, on the slopes of Haleakala.
Close-up video of Maui’s windmills is below.
Maui Windmills Video