Hawaiian Electric Co. has asked the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission for approval to develop a 20 MW solar energy facility at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, West Loch Annex. If approved, the utility company says, the solar facility would be the lowest-cost renewable energy project in the state.
According to Hawaiian Electric, energy produced by this project would cost 9.54 cents/kWh and is expected to save customers $109 million over its expected 25-year life span, compared with the cost of using oil to generate that energy.
The $67 million project is a joint effort with the U.S. Department of the Navy. Hawaiian Electric proposes to build, own and operate the solar facility at the joint base. In exchange for the land needed for the project, the base will receive in-kind consideration in the form of electrical infrastructure upgrades to Navy-owned facilities. The renewable energy generated by the solar facility will feed into the island’s electric grid and serve all customers on Oahu, including those on the base.
If approved, construction is expected to begin in January 2018, with the project in service by December 2018. The project was commemorated in July by Hawaiian Electric, the Navy, and the state with a celebratory lease signing at Pearl Harbor.
“Thanks to the support provided by the Navy, this is a win-win for our entire community. It will save money for our customers, help the Navy achieve its renewable energy goals, and get our state closer to 100 percent renewable energy at a reasonable cost,” said Alan Oshima, Hawaiian Electric president and CEO.