First large-scale solar farm on Hawaiʻi Island now activated
Hawaiian Electric has partnered with a mainland power company on a renewable energy project for Hawaiʻi Island residents.
AES Corporation’s Waikoloa Solar + Storage project was approved by the County of Hawaiʻi last month for full operation.
HECO announced Monday that the project is now online and feeding energy to the grid.
Project leaders hope that it will cut residents’ energy bills by $5 a month. AES will sell the energy produced in Waikoloa's solar farm to Hawaiian Electric at nine cents per kilowatt-hour.
The solar panel farm has a 25-year contract. AES has promised to decommission and return the land to its original condition at the end of the contract.
Final proposals stated that about 200 jobs will be generated from the project, with a total economic output of $47 million for the state.
“Adding more renewable resources helps make the island communities more self-sustainable by reducing their reliance on imported fossil fuels and helping to stabilize electricity costs," said Shelee Kimura, president and CEO of Hawaiian Electric.
AES began building solar panels and battery energy storage systems in November 2021. They are located on a 300-acre parcel along Waikoloa Road.
"With battery storage and advanced controls, the project will improve the reliability of the system by providing energy when customers need it,” Kimura said.
The plan is available to view online.