42MW Kūpono Solar Project to be Developed in Hawaii

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Plans are underway for the construction of a 42 megawatts (MW) Kūpono Solar Project in Hawaii, which will supply renewable energy to the Hawaiian Electric grid located on the island of O‘ahu. The proposed solar project will be built through a joint venture between Ameresco Inc. and Bright Canyon Energy using a combination of solar and battery system technologies.

The developers have made lease arrangements to build the Kūpono Solar Project on lands owned by the Navy, which are located at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam West Loch Annex. A 37-year land lease was signed with the Navy, which provides 131 acres of underutilized lands for the combined solar and battery system. This will be the joint venture’s first renewable energy project, aimed at providing support for the long-term energy security initiative of the Department of Defense.

Features of the Kūpono Solar Project

Several installations will be carried out for the Kūpono Solar Project which includes a 42 MW photovoltaic solar array and up to 42 MW/168 MWh of lithium-ion battery storage systems. The batteries used will keep the solar energy stored long after the sun sets, which allows the project to supply enough energy to power about 10,000 homes on O‘ahu Island.

Additionally, the clean energy from this project would serve in reducing over 50,000 tons of carbon emissions annually from Hawaii’s environment, which equates to the removal of 12,000 cars that produce carbon emissions from the roads each year.

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A public works officer for the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Capt. Randall E. Harmeyer mentioned that the Navy was thrilled to see the Kūpono Solar Project move forward for the benefit of the community. Harmeyer also pointed out that the project also allows the Navy to make proper use of its 131 acres of underutilized lands for long-term, sustainable use in Hawaii, especially at a time when the worldwide energy supply’s costs and reliability are of great concern.

Ameresco’s executive vice president, Nicole Bulgarino, also said the Kūpono Solar Project would serve as a replacement for energy generated through the burning of fossil fuels, which in return will reduce emissions and greenhouse gases, making the environment a cleaner and healthier place for residents to live, work and play.