42-MW solar + storage project to be built at Hawaii Navy base

Ameresco and Bright Canyon Energy are moving forward with the Kupono Solar Project, a combined solar and battery system to be built at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam West Loch Annex in Hawaii. The proposed project is designed to deliver 42 MW of renewable energy to Hawaiian Electric’s grid on the island of Oahu.

In 2021, Ameresco and Bright Canyon established a joint venture known as Kupono Solar Development Company, to advance the Kupono Solar Project. This is the first project for the joint venture to focus on renewable energy, energy security and resiliency on Oahu.

In support of a Department of Defense long-term energy security initiative, Kupono Solar signed a 37-year land lease with the Navy to provide critical energy resiliency upgrades. The lease provides the use of approximately 131 acres of underutilized lands within the Navy West Loch Annex of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

The project includes the installation of a 42 MW photovoltaic solar array and a 42-MW/168-MWh (four-hour duration) lithium-ion battery storage system. The batteries will store solar after the sun sets, enabling the project to deliver power to approximately 10,000 homes on Oahu.

“The Navy is excited to see this joint Kupono Solar/Hawaiian Electric project move forward for our community’s benefit,” said Cpt. Randall E. Harmeyer, public works officer at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. “This enables us to put 131 acres of underutilized land to long-term, sustainable use for Hawaii at a time when the cost and reliability of worldwide energy supplies is of great concern and reflects the Navy’s core commitment to energy security and resiliency for America. ”

Construction is expected to be completed in early 2024. Kupono Solar, the joint venture, will own and operate this solar and battery project under a 20-year power purchase agreement with Hawaiian Electric.

“We are excited to be working with the Navy, Hawaiian Electric, and the community on this important sustainability project in Hawai’i. The energy generated and stored on this underutilized land will directly benefit the residents, businesses, and communities of O’ahu,” said Nicole Bulgarino, executive vice president, of Ameresco. “In addition, it will replace energy generated by burning fossil fuel, thereby reducing emissions and greenhouse gases and create a cleaner, healthier place for residents to live, work and play.”

News item from Ameresco

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