Kuihelani Solar +
Hawai‘i’s 100% Clean Energy Future – Locally Produced Renewable Energy
In 2008, the State of Hawai‘i established a goal to reduce the state’s reliance on imported fossil fuel and produce 100% of electricity from renewable energy sources by the year 2045.
In 2018, Hawaiian Electric Companies (HECO) issued the largest ever Request for Proposals (RFP) for renewable energy in the state’s history. Through that process, eight projects were selected including the Waikoloa Solar + Storage Project.
Kuihelani Solar + Storage Project Overview
- 60 MW solar photovoltaic
- 240 MWh containerized lithium-ion battery energy storage
- Feeds into Maui utility (HECO) electrical grid
- Located in Central Maui, off Kuihelani Highway
- Utilizes approximately 500 acres of land leased from Mahi Pono
- 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)
- Includes decommissioning and return of Project area to its existing condition (or comparable) at end of lifespan
Collaboration and Engagement
AES Distributed Energy (AES DE) is deeply committed to being an active, invested member in the communities we serve.
Throughout the process, AES DE has and will continue to engage and listen carefully to community feedback on the Project. Specific issues identified by the community thus far are actively being addressed and we continue to seek input to ensure we are responsibly examining concerns.
Traffic is an unfortunate part of daily life. AES DE is committed to minimizing our impacts to Maui commuters.
- Minimal Operational Vehicles and Traffic – Upon completion, only 1-2 vehicles per day will be required to operate and maintain the Project.
- Construction Traffic Management Plan – During the construction phase, a traffic management plan will be implemented to minimize traffic impacts.
- Traffic Impact Analysis Report (TIAR) – A full Traffic Impact Analysis Report (TIAR) is being developed for the Project.
Fire and Safety
Brushfires are a significant community concern and AES DE takes this issue very seriously.
- Fire Suppression – Each battery storage container is equipped with a fire suppression system that will minimize risk of fire from Project components.
- A non-vegetated ﬁrebreak will encircle the Project area as well as each battery storage area to further reduce ﬁre risk.
- Vegetation Management – AES DE will actively maintain the vegetation on site to minimize the risk of brushfires spreading through the property.
Culture and Archaeology
AES DE recognizes we have a responsibility to respectfully address the issues and perspectives of the Native Hawaiian community early in the process. With this understanding, we started the Project by undertaking the following actions:
- Consultation with Lineal and Cultural Descendants – One of the earliest outreach efforts we undertook was consultation with lineal and cultural descendants and the Maui Lanai Islands Burial Council to describe the Project and identify issues and concerns, especially those related to iwi kupuna.
- Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) –In consultation with descendants and the Burial Council, the Kuihelani Solar + Storage Project is one of Maui’s first projects to utilize Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) to identify subsurface anomalies.
- Archaeological Inventory Survey (AIS) and Cultural Impact Assessment (CIA) – An AIS and CIA are both underway in consultation with descendants and the State Historic Preservation Division.
Community members have raised visual impacts as an important consideration.
- Sensitive Siting – As much as possible, the Project will be designed and laid out to reduce visual impacts, especially along Kuihelani Highway and Maui Veterans Highway.
- Landscaping – Where practicable, landscaping will be incorporated to further reduce visual impacts.
- Visual Simulations and View Planes – To better understand the visual impacts, AES DE is preparing renderings to simulate views of the project from various vantage points.
- Glint and Glare –A Glint analysis will be conducted from key observation points to minimize and mitigate impacts to commuters, residents and air traffic.
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AES Distributed Energy (AES DE), a wholly owned subsidiary of The AES Corporation (NYSE:AES), is a trusted energy partner delivering reliable and affordable solar PV projects on a stand-alone basis or paired with storage. AES DE currently operates over 50 MW of solar and solar + storage across the Hawaiian Islands, with another 100 MW solar + storage in development on O‘ahu, Maui and Hawai‘i Island. AES DE shares the state’s commitment to a greener and more resilient energy future and helping the state realize its goal of reaching 100% renewable energy by 2045.
In 2018, AES DE completed one of the world’s largest solar + storage projects on the island of Kaua‘i, an innovative 28 MW solar and 100 MWh battery energy storage system. AES DE completed another utility-scale solar + storage project on the island of Kaua‘i, a 19 MW solar and 70 MWh battery energy storage system, at the end of 2019. The company also operates twelve ground-mounted solar projects ranging from 500 kW to 1 MW each and delivers nearly 9 MW DC of renewable energy annually to O‘ahu and Maui islands.
AES DE was selected by the Hawaiian Electric Companies (HECO) for three of its eight solar + storage projects, the largest addition of renewable energy in the state’s history. The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved all three projects, Kuihelani (Maui), Waikoloa (Hawai‘i Island) and West O‘ahu, which in total are estimated would contribute over 3% of Hawaiian Electric Companies’ renewable portfolio standard (RPS).*