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

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

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

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

The project includes the installation of a 42 MW photovoltaic solar panel and a 42 MW/168 MWh lithium-ion battery storage system (4 hours duration). The batteries will store solar energy after the sun goes down, allowing the project to supply power to approximately 10,000 homes on Oahu.

“The Navy is pleased to see this joint Kupono Solar/Hawaiian Electric project making progress for the benefit of our community,” said Cpt. Randall E. Harmeyer, public works officer at the Pearl Harbor-Hickam Joint Base. “This allows us to use 131 acres of underutilized land for long-term, sustainable use for Hawaii at a time when the cost and reliability of global energy supply is a major concern and reflects the Navy’s core commitment to energy security and resilience to 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 partner 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 the energy generated by burning fossil fuels, reducing emissions and greenhouse gases and creating a cleaner, healthier place for residents to live, work and play.”

News item from Ameresco

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