Decommissioning Concerns

We Hear You: Decommissioning Concerns

Have you heard one of your neighbors say that there are 14,000 wind turbines abandoned in the U.S.? Have you seen the picture of the “abandoned” Kamaoa Wind Farm in Hawaii?

We continue to hear these concerns over and over again and will continue to address them until the unwarranted fears are corrected.   

MYTH: 14,000 abandoned wind turbines across the U.S. 

FACT: We searched the internet trying to find a data source for this statement but couldn’t find any fact-based information to back this claim. Every article that made this statement kept referencing the same blog(s). The question is, how reliable is a statement if there is no data to support it?  

What we do know for sure is what will happen to the Lighthouse Wind Farm. At the end of the project’s serviceable life (about 30 years), turbines will be either upgraded or decommissioned. If removed, foundations are excavated to a depth of four feet, and the land will be restored for agricultural production. Before the wind farm is constructed, a decommissioning agreement will be signed with either the towns, counties, or other permitting entity to ensure that Lighthouse Wind has set aside funds to pay these costs (in the form of a bond), and taxpayers and landowners will be protected from bearing any responsibility.

Check out these stories of repowering wind farms:

Tehachapi: Planned for Prosperity

California Startup Turns Old Wind Turbines Into Gold

Finding a Second Life for Retired Wind Turbines


The Truth About the Kamaoa Wind Farm:  In 2012, Apollo Energy took down the 37 wind turbines at the Kamaoa Wind Farm, sold the scrap metal to China, and leased the land to cattle ranchers. 

Check out this video showing the last turbine being taken down in 2012. 


And one more thing: Hawaii loves renewable energy!  In June 2015, Hawaii was the first state to adopt a 100% Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) requiring Hawaii to produce all of its electricity from renewables by 2045.