From the Advertiser: The state Public Utilities Commission approved a power purchase agreement on Wednesday between Hawaiian Electric Co. and the developer of a Kahuku wind farm project, described as the largest of its kind on O'ahu.

The facility, which could begin operating in early 2011, would generate enough electricity to power 7,700 homes.

The agreement between HECO and Kahuku Wind Power, a subsidiary of Massachusetts-based First Wind, calls for HECO to purchase 30 megawatts that will be produced by 12 wind turbines in Kahuku. HECO will pay 19.9 cents per kilowatt hour as part of a 20-year agreement with First Wind, said Darren Pai, HECO spokesman.

A typical residential bill on O'ahu this month is $158.20 based on 600 kilowatt hours of usage, Pai said. He said the Kahuku project itself won't necessarily reduce a customer's bill, but it is part of an ongoing effort to reduce the state's dependency on fossil fuels.

"It's going to be one piece of the puzzle because we're going to need a lot of different types of renewable energy resources to meet our clean energy goals," Pai said.

HECO said the project should reduce oil consumption by about 153,000 barrels a year and also reduce carbon dioxide emissions.