Hawaiian Electric has selected seven solar projects on Oahu, Hawaii Island and Maui to be the first on each island to offer the shared solar program (also known as community-based renewable energy or CBRE) to help lower the electric bills of customers who meet low- and moderate-income (LMI) levels and are unable to install privately-owned rooftop solar.
A competitive bidding evaluation process, which accounted for the cost of the projects as well as non-price factors including community outreach, was used to evaluate the proposals. On Oahu, the 6 MW Kaukonahua Solar shared solar LMI project co-developed by Nexamp Solar and Melink Solar Development was selected.
On Hawaii Island and Maui, three projects on each island were selected, all of which are being developed by Nexamp Solar. Next, Hawaiian Electric will work with the selected developers to finalize the 20-year contracts. On Maui, there will be solar+battery storage projects with Lipoa Solar (3 MW), Makawao Solar (2.5 MW) and Piiholo Road Solar (2.5 MW). On Hawaii Island, the solar+storage projects are with Kalaoa Solar A (3 MW), Kalaoa Solar B (3 MW) and Naalehu Solar (3 MW).
Once the projects are available on Hawaiian Electric’s CBRE Portal, LMI customers – including those who are renters and apartment residents – may become “subscribers” to a facility on their respective island. Once the projects are built and online, the subscribers receive credits on their monthly electricity bill based on their level of participation in the following projects:
In March 2022, the request for proposals was opened for developers, companies, organizations or groups to become a “subscriber organization” of shared solar projects for LMI customers. The LMI shared solar projects are expected to be online in 2025.
“Our proven track record as a long-term owner/operator has made us a trusted partner in hundreds of communities today and our seven new Nexamp projects in Hawaii will help the state move toward its decarbonization goals,” says Zaid Ashai, CEO of Nexamp. “Dedicated to low- and moderate-income residents, each of these shared solar projects will ensure equal access to participate and lower their electric costs while reducing the islands’ fossil fuel dependence. We look forward to making our popular community solar program and other consumer decarbonization services available to all residents of Hawaii in the years ahead.”