Maui News

Negotiations begin with new developer of Lānaʻi Solar project

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The image is an artist’s rendering of the Lānaʻi Solar project location and site plan. Artist’s renderings are subject to change during the final design process. PC: Next Era Energy Resources

Hawaiian Electric has selected a new developer, DG Development & Acquisition, LLC, to build and maintain Lānaʻi Solar, the largest utility-scale renewable energy project on Lāna‘i and the island’s first to offer the shared solar program (also known as community-based renewable energy or CBRE).

DG Development & Acquisition was selected from a competitive bidding evaluation of customer savings, completion timelines and non-price factors including community outreach. Lānaʻi Solar replaces an earlier solar project announced in April as a contract was not able to be finalized during negotiations.

Hawaiian Electric will now enter new contract negotiations with DG Development & Acquisition, LLC. Once the 20-year contract is settled, it will be submitted to the Public Utilities Commission for approval. 

Lānaʻi Solar could provide up to 17.5 megawatts of solar energy with 3 MW reserved for the shared solar program, paired with an 89 megawatt-hour battery energy storage system. The project will be situated on 73 acres of land owned by Pūlama Lāna‘i, adjacent to Hawaiian Electric’s Miki Basin facilities along Miki Road and is expected to come online in late 2024. The new project could also meet a majority of the current energy demands of the island. 

The shared solar program provides a way for customers, including renters, apartment residents, small business owners and organizations unable to install privately-owned rooftop solar to benefit from solar electricity generated on their island. 

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Approved by the PUC in November 2021, the shared solar Phase 2 request for proposals for Lāna‘i was opened for developers, companies, organizations or groups authorized to do business in Hawai‘i to become a “subscriber organization” to propose a shared solar project.

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Once the Lāna‘i Solar project is approved by the PUC, Lāna‘i customers may become “subscribers” to that facility by applying directly to DG Development & Acquisition, which is the subscriber organization, or through Hawaiian Electric’s online customer portal. When the project is built and online, subscribers receive credits on their monthly electricity bill based on a monthly lump sum payment, which is based on availability of the project and their level of participation. 

Development of the Lāna‘i CBRE RFP involved participation from the Lāna‘i communities and stakeholders. This included community meetings where Hawaiian Electric explained the process and provided opportunities for residents to submit oral and written comments and concerns for developers to be aware of when preparing their proposals.

Feedback from Lāna‘i residents through community outreach efforts has also been incorporated in the plans, including limiting the type of renewable technologies being sought and recognizing each island’s unique culture and concerns.

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For more information about the Lānaʻi Solar project, go to nexteraenergyresources.com/lanai-solar.

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