Pu’u Kukui on the Hawaiian island of Maui • Earth.com

Pu’u Kukui on the Hawaiian island of Maui

Pu’u Kukui on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Today’s Image of the Day from NASA Earth Observatory features Maui, a Hawaiian island in the Central Pacific that is home to one of the largest wind farms in the state. 

According to NASA, all 34 operational wind turbines of the Kaheawa Wind Power I and II facilities are visible in this photograph, which was captured by an astronaut from the International Space Station (ISS). Pu’u Kukui on the Hawaiian island of Maui

The wind farm is located close to the small town of Waikapu, and at the foot of a large mountain peak known as Pu’u Kukui.

The turbine field descends about half a mile down the southeast side of the mountain and supplies up to 15 percent of Maui’s annual electricity usage. 

Kaheawa was the first wind farm in the United States to implement a habitat conservation plan, with a goal of protecting birds and bats.The island of Maui is the second-largest of the Hawaiian Islands at 727.2 square miles and is the 17th largest island in the United States. Maui is part of the State of Hawaii and is the largest of Maui County’s four islands, which include Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, and unpopulated Kahoʻolawe. In 2010, Maui had a population of 144,444, third-highest of the Hawaiian Islands

Image Credit: NASA Earth Observatory 

By Chrissy Sexton, Earth.com Staff Writer

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