$140M solar storage plant comes online just in time for transition away from coal

The plant is 131 acres and there's enough solar energy to power 45,000 homes every year.
Published: Aug. 11, 2022 at 5:28 PM HST|Updated: Aug. 11, 2022 at 5:34 PM HST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Oahu’s first utility-scale solar storage plant was officially dedicated to Hawaiian Electric’s grid Thursday.

Clearway Energy Group’s completed $140 million project comes just as HECO announced a price increase because of Hawaii’s transition away from coal.

“Because of how that formula works, and where oil prices are, it really increased the rates for customers while we’re moving off of coal,” said Shelee Kimura, Hawaiian Electric president and CEO.

HECO said while this project isn’t big, customers will see costs ease a bit right away.

“There are many projects coming in and out over many, many years,” said Kimura. “And this project here is one of those steps to make that transition.”

Clearway Energy Group, however, said there are a lot more hurdles for future projects.

Nine more projects are slated through 2024.

“There are potential delays in any project. Equipment delivery, pending tariffs,” said John Woody, the senior vice president of Clearway Energy Group. “I think what we pride ourselves on is being posied to execute when we can.”

The governor, meanwhile, says this project proves a 2045 renewable energy goal isn’t too far out of reach.

“This project delivers energy below the price of fossil fuel,” said Gov. David Ige. “This is a great example of why I know we will be successful.”

Copyright 2022 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.