Utility-scale solar + storage project announced for the Island of Hawaii

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The 30 MW Hale Kuawehi Solar Project was announced by Parker Ranch, Inc., one of the largest and oldest cattle ranches in the United States. through its renewable energy subsidiary Paniolo Power Company LLC. The project, which will power approximately 15,000 households, is being developed by Canada-based Innergex Renewable Energy Inc.

The State of Hawaii has a goal of producing 100% renewable energy by 2045, an effort to reduce reliance on expensive, imported fossil fuels. SEIA estimates that the State is currently getting just over 17% of its power from solar. The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approved the 25-year power purchase agreement with Innergex in 2019 to deliver electricity to Hawaiian Electric from the project at $0.08/kWh, which is among the lowest cost energy sources on the Island. The project will also generate nearly 20% of the Island of Hawaii’s baseload electricity requirements, resulting in avoided fossil fuel consumption of over 500,000 barrels of oil over 25 years.

The project is expected to break ground in early 2022 with a commercial operation date planned for the end of 2022. The solar and battery storage facility will consist of 30MW AC of PV panels on single-axis trackers plus 120MWh of battery energy storage across approximately 300-acres, located near Parker Ranch’s industrial park, off of Mamalahoa Highway. Innergex is currently developing its community benefits package and conducting outreach to local non-profit organizations.

“This project aligns with our mission to support our beneficiaries and improve the quality of life in our community,” said Dutch Kuyper, President & CEO of Parker Ranch Inc.

Paniolo Power Company LLC, a subsidiary of Parker Ranch Inc., was established in 2014 to pursue community-based and reasonably-priced clean energy for the Waimea and Kohala communities as well as for Hawaii Island.

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