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 West O’ahu Solar + Storage Project.

West O’ahu Solar + Storage

Project Overview

SPECIFICATIONS:

  • 12.5 MW solar photovoltaic
  • 50 MWh containerized lithium-ion battery energy storage
  • Feeds into Hawaiian Electric utility (HECO) electrical grid
  • Located in West O’ahu, on University of Hawai’i West O’ahu Mauka Land’s property
  • Utilizes up to 97 acres of land leased from University of Hawai’i West O’ahu (UHWO)
  • 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) – includes decommissioning and return of Project area to its existing condition (or comparable) at end of lifespan
  • Helps UHWO meet their 2035 net-zero mandate and provides a revenue stream to support higher education

Job Creation and Economic Benefits

It is estimated that the Project construction would result in creation of 118 jobs and generate a total economic output of $20.2 million toward Hawai’i’s economy.

Low-Cost Renewable Energy

Under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) approved by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), the Project would deliver power at $0.106/kWh – less than the cost of fossil fuel power.

0.5% of O’ahu’s Energy

Upon completion, the Project is anticipated to contribute approximately 0.5% of O’ahu’s energy needs.*

Avoiding 545,794 Barrels of Oil

The Project is expected to result in total avoided fuel consumption of 545,794 barrels of oil over its 25-year span. *

*Source: Hawaiian Electric Company, PUC Docket 2019-0436

Collaboration and Engagement

     AES Distributed Energy is deeply committed to becoming an active, invested member in the communities we serve.

Community Input

    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.

Archaeological and Cultural Resources

    AES DE recognizes we have a responsibility to respectfully address archaeological and cultural resources early in the process. With this understanding, we started the Project by undertaking the following actions:

  • Cultural Impact Assessment (CIA) – One of the initial steps in the process was to prepare a CIA in consultation with Native Hawaiian organizations, agencies and community members to obtain input regarding present and past uses, cultural sites, traditional gathering practices, cultural association and any associated cultural concerns and identify historic and cultural issues in the Project area and region.
  • Archaeological Inventory Survey (AIS) – To identify and document any potential historic properties within the Project area, an AIS was conducted, and is pending review by the State of Hawai’i Historic Preservation Division (SHPD).

Agriculture

Solar facilities are considered to be highly compatible with agriculture activities. AES DE has pursued partnerships with potential compatible agricultural operators early in the Project development stage.

  • Honey Production – Specific beekeeping requirements have been incorporated into the Project site plan.
  • Cattle Production and Grazing – The area is currently used for cattle ranching. In consultation with an existing area rancher, rotational cattle grazing for calves will be incorporated into compatible agricultural plans for the site.

Visual Impacts

     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 from neighboring communities.
  • 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 prepared renderings to simulate views of the project from various vantage points.
  • Glint and Glare – A Glare analysis has been conducted from key observation points and conservative model results indicated very limited impact to commuters, residents and air traffic.

Questions?

We appreciate your interest and participation in Hawai’i’s renewable energy future. We look forward to hearing your ideas, thoughts and comments.

About Us

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 + storage across the Hawaiian Islands, with another 100 MW of 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 is 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-plus-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-plus-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 deliver 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-plus-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 to contribute over 3% of Hawaiian Electric Companies’ renewable portfolio standard (RPS).2

2 source: Hawaii PUC Dockets 2019-0050, 2018-0436, 2018-0430; Exhibit 6