NRG breaks ground on 110 MW-AC of large-scale solar in Hawaii

As part of the collapse of the what was the world’s largest wind and solar developer, in November 2016 NRG walked off with 1.5 GW-AC of SunEdison projects spread across the United States in what can only be described as a fire sale. This included three solar projects in Hawaii that are some of the largest planned in the state.

Yesterday contractor Moss & Associates began construction on the three projects for NRG. The Kawailoa, Waipi’o and Mililani Solar 2 projects are all located on former agricultural and cattle pasture land the island of Oahu, and total 110 MW-AC. All three will sell electricity to Hawaiian Electric Companies (HECO) under long-term contracts.

At 49 MW-AC, the Kawailoa plant will be the largest solar project built in the state to date when complete.

The three projects will feature SunPower and First Solar modules, all of which have already been secured and which are not subject to the 30% import duties recently imposed by the Trump Administration. NRG expects that all three will be online in 2019.

Hawaii was already getting more than 10% of its electricity from solar in the first three quarters of 2017, however this is mostly from distributed solar. The three NRG projects will greatly increase the portion of utility-scale solar on the island’s grid.