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Waianae Solar online, adding to Hawaiian Electric’s renewable generation

Waianae Solar online, adding to Hawaiian Electric’s renewable generation

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With the 27.6-megawatt Waianae Solar project coming into service, the Hawaiian Electric Companies take another step on the path to 100 percent renewable electricity by 2045. Developed, owned and operated by the independent power producer Eurus Energy America on about 200 acres in West Oahu, Waianae Solar will sell energy to Hawaiian Electric at about 14.5 cents per kilowatt-hour, making it one of the state’s lowest-cost renewable energy projects. The project broke ground in March 2016 after approval by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission. The array, which went into service in mid-January, is the largest in operation in Hawaii today and generates electricity equivalent to that used by about 11,000 homes for a year.

“Waianae Solar is a vital addition to Hawaii’s portfolio of renewable energy resources and we appreciate the role that the Waianae community serves in hosting this important project,” said Alan Oshima, president and CEO of Hawaiian Electric. “Oahu is challenged with having the greatest population and electricity demand but fewer sites where larger renewable energy projects are possible.” In December, the Hawaiian Electric Companies outlined a detailed plan charting the near-term actions on the way to achieving the state’s aggressive energy goals with Hawaiian Electric., Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light on course to reach 48 percent renewable electricity by 2020, including 100 percent renewable electricity on Molokai.

Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light recently asked the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to start the process of seeking new renewable energy generation on Maui, Lanai, Molokai and Hawaii Island targeting projects that can be in service by the end of 2020. On Oahu, Hawaiian Electric is seeking independent developers capable of building utility-scale onshore wind projects to take advantage of the federal investment tax credit for wind power that expires in 2019. In addition, all three companies have launched an effort to gather information about land that may be made available for future grid-scale renewable energy projects that will benefit all electric customers, such as solar and wind farms, or for growing biofuel feedstock for renewable energy projects.>

Other ongoing projects include:

A 1-MW battery energy storage system at Campbell Industrial Park
A proposed 20-MW solar facility at Joint Base Pearl-Harbor Hickam, West Loch Annex
More than 55 additional grid-scale solar projects across Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii Island with a combined capacity of over 30 megawatts
The 24-MW Na Pua Makani wind farm in Kahuku
The 50-MW biofuel-capable Schofield Generation Station
Ongoing approvals of rooftop PV systems, including a new wave of systems that incorporate energy storage. To date, nearly 79,500 rooftop PV systems have been approved to install or interconnect
Two 2.87-MW solar farms on Maui being developed by Kuia Solar and South Maui Renewable Resources

Anand Gupta Editor - EQ Int'l Media Network

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