AES Hawaii has started operations at the largest solar power plant in the state

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In a step, towards creating a sustainable energy future for Hawaii, AES Hawaii has started operations at the largest solar power plant in the state – the Kuihelani solar plus storage facility. This significant accomplishment shows the company’s dedication to supporting Hawaii’s transition to clean energy.

Located on 450 acres in Central Maui the Kuihelani facility has a 60 megawatt capacity using the Hawaiian sunlight to produce electricity for around 27,000 homes yearly. This innovative project sets a standard for energy production in Hawaii introducing a new era of eco-friendly and reliable power.

Sandra Larsen, AES Hawaii’s President shared her excitement about the projects launch and its crucial role in helping Hawaii reach its goal of achieving 100% energy by 2045. Larsen emphasized that while 2045 might seem off it’s actually not too distant and will require an effort from all involved parties.

The success of the Kuihelani facility is supported by a 25 year agreement for power purchase, between AES Hawaii and Hawaiian Electric ensuring a cost effective supply of energy.

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Cost of power production in Hawaii’s largest solar power plant

The solar plus battery setup produces power at a price of 8 cents, per kilowatt hour proving to be both economically feasible and environmentally friendly.

Since the start of the Kuihelani project, in 2022 it has not only showcased technical features but has also brought real economic advantages to the local community. The construction and operation of the project have created job opportunities for 300 individuals. Contributed around $68 million to Mauis economy demonstrating how clean energy initiatives can drive economic growth.

Larsen highlighted the significance of teamwork and dependability in transitioning towards energy. She stressed our responsibility for maintaining the safety and reliability of Kuihelani while working closely with Hawaiian Electric to ensure that the power supplied aligns with the grids requirements at the point of connection.

Start of operations at the largest solar power plant in the state is just the beginning of AES Hawaii’s ambitious endeavors to expand renewable energy projects throughout Hawaii. Additionally in March they initiated operations at their West Oahu solar plus storage plant further enriching Hawaii’s energy resources.

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Looking into the future AES Hawaii is actively engaging with Hawaiian Electric and Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) to develop and manage battery energy storage systems on Oahu, Maui, Hawaii Island and Kauai. Larsen disclosed that their company recently secured two projects through Hawaiian Electric – one on Big Island and another, on Maui.

“She mentioned that we are excited to begin working on these projects as the contracts are signed.”

AES Hawaii currently holds a collection of, over 350 megawatts worth of energy projects that are either operational or in progress throughout the Hawaiian islands. These projects include the West Kauai Energy Project in Kauai, the Waiawa Phase 2 Solar and AES Mountain View Solar ventures in Oahu, the Kuihelani Solar Phase 2 initiative in Maui and the Keamuku solar plus storage facility located in Waikoloa Village on Hawaii Island.

In light of the imperative to combat climate change and embrace energy sources Hawaii stands out as a beacon of leadership. Through initiatives like the Kuihelani solar power plant plus storage project and AES Hawaii’s unwavering dedication to renewable energy expansion the islands are setting a shining example, for a more sustainable future ahead.

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