STAND. COM. REP. NO. 3651
RE: H.B. No. 2188
Honorable Ronald D. Kouchi
President of the Senate
Thirtieth State Legislature
Regular Session of 2020
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Energy, Economic Development, and Tourism, to which was referred H.B. No. 2188, H.D. 1, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO WIND ENERGY FACILITIES,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose and intent of this measure is to:
(1) Require an unspecified distance setback from the nearest existing farm dwelling or residential dwelling unit for certain wind energy facilities in agricultural districts;
(2) Require a study on the effects of noise production by wind energy facilities on the health of residents; and
(3) Appropriate funds to conduct the study.
Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from the University of Hawai‘i System, 350Hawaii, Hawaii Youth Climate Coalition, EcoTipping Points Project, Environmental Caucus of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, and thirty-six individuals. Your Committee received testimony in opposition to this measure from the Ulupono Initiative. Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Hawaii State Energy Office; Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc; AEP Renewables; Hawaii Clean Power Alliance; and two individuals.
Your Committee finds that wind energy facilities are a valuable source of renewable energy that brings the State closer to realizing its goal of one hundred percent renewable energy by 2045. However, your Committee notes that there are financial, societal, and environmental costs to the installation of wind energy systems. Residents living near wind energy facilities have reported numerous negative health impacts, including earaches, dizziness, fainting, migraines, and trouble sleeping. Your Committee finds merit in conducting an official study on the potential health impacts on those living near a wind energy facility to get a better understanding on the effects of wind energy facilities on residents.
Your Committee also finds that wind energy facility siting or setback requirements vary across the nation. Setback requirements around the nation are usually defined with respect to the height of the system. Your Committee believes that using the height of a wind turbine as the setback requirement will address the concerns of residents, while allowing the development of wind energy facilities to produce renewable energy.
Accordingly, your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Inserting a distance setback requirement of one foot for every foot of height of a wind turbine from the nearest farm dwelling or off-site residential dwelling unit; and
(2) Making a technical, nonsubstantive amendment for the purposes of clarity and consistency.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Energy, Economic Development, and Tourism that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 2188, H.D. 1, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 2188, H.D. 1, S.D. 1, and be referred to your Committee on Ways and Means.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Energy, Economic Development, and Tourism,
GLENN WAKAI, Chair