Kalaeloa Renewable Energy Park, one of Hawaii's largest solar energy generation facilities, has opened and will begin generating electricity for Hawaiian Electric customers on Oahu.
Following four years of development and construction, the 5 MW utility-scale solar park was successfully tested and commissioned on Nov. 22.
Hanwha Q CELLS USA acquired the project in 2012, finalized development, facilitated financing and solar module supply, and will now operate the facility for a 20-year period, with project financing provided by PNC Bank. Hunt Companies and Scatec Solar North America conceptualized the project and initiated the plant's development in 2009.
The facility comprises 21,000 photovoltaic panels and will generate around 9 million kWh of electricity per year – enough to power 1,000 homes, bringing the state one step closer to meeting its target to produce 40% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030, Hunt Companies reports.
Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates, Kalaeloa Renewable Energy Park will produce enough renewable power to prevent nearly 11,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually – equivalent to removing nearly 38,000 cars from Hawaii's roads over the 20-year term of the agreement.
"Partnerships like this – with government and private industry working together – are critical to achieving Hawaii's clean energy goals," says Scott Seu, Hawaiian Electric's vice president for energy resources and operations.