Ameresco to develop solar and storage project at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam

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Ameresco and Bright Canyon Energy announced that the two companies have begun development on the proposed Kūpono Solar Project, a solar-plus-battery system to be built at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam West Loch Annex in Hawai‘i.

The Kūpono Solar Project is planned to be a 42 MW solar array paired with a 42 MW/168 MWh lithium-ion battery energy storage system (BESS) set to be constructed on 131 acres of underutilized land within the Navy West Loch Annex of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam. In support of a Department of Defense long-term energy security initiative, Kūpono Solar signed a 37-year land lease with the Navy to provide critical energy resiliency upgrades.

“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, 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.”

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

In May,  the Navy announced it will make progress toward achieving 100% carbon pollution-free electricity by 2030, with at least half of that from locally supplied clean energy from projects like the Kūpono Solar Project.

While the strategy document does not address the expected contribution of solar, it highlights an existing solar plant and a planned large-scale battery energy storage system at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in California, and existing mobile and deployable solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations at Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany in Georgia. The document also highlights geothermal and landfill gas generation.

In 2019, the Navy heralded the completion of a 53 MW solar project in Millington, Tennessee, 20 miles Northeast of Memphis, which was built on 72 acres of land leased from the US Navy at the Naval Support Activity Mid-South. While the majority of the solar array is located on the adjacent private land that Silicon Ranch purchased from the Millington Industrial Development Board, the naval installation received a brand new alternative electrical feed that will increase energy security and resilience at NSA Mid-South. This feature enables the installation’s more than 6,500 personnel to focus on their mission at the Navy’s Human Resources Center of Excellence.

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