Kūihelani Solar Among Six PUC Approved Projects

April 1, 2019, 7:34 AM HST · Updated April 1, 7:34 AM
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Six grid-scale solar-plus-battery storage projects, the largest and lowest-cost portfolio of renewable energy resources to be assembled at one time in Hawaiʻi, have been approved by the Public Utilities Commission.  The projects include the 60 MW Kūihelani Solar project on Maui.

According to a Hawaiian Electric company announcement, the Kūihelani project will feature 240 MWh of storage and provide energy at a cost of $0.08 per kWh.

The Maui project is still under review by regulators and is designed to further reduce fossil fuel use during peak demand in the evening or at other times of the day when the sun isn’t shining.

Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light already have more than 500 MW of renewable energy under contract in addition to nearly 80,000 privately owned rooftop systems in operation.

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According to the company announcement, these six projects are capable of providing enough energy to power 105,000 homes per year and can eliminate the use of more than 48 million gallons of imported fossil fuels annually, significantly lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

“We really appreciate the PUC moving so quickly to review and approve these projects, which enables the developers to meet the aggressive schedule that was set up to take advantage of federal tax credits,” said Jim Alberts, Hawaiian Electric senior vice president of business development and strategic planning. “The sooner these projects are delivering energy to customers, the sooner they’ll see savings.”

Other projects on the list are: Waikoloa Solar and Hale Kuawehi on Hawaiʻi Island; and Hoʻohana, Mililani I and Waiawa Solar on Oʻahu.

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