Hawaii is one of the earliest pioneers in solar power, due to an excess of sunshine and high energy costs. Solar companies in the state have led the development of rooftop and behind-the-meter projects. Solar grids are vital to islands that are more likely to experience natural disasters. Hawaii now has one of the highest per-capita rates of solar power in the US.
Last year, Clearway Energy Group, Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) and other select partners completed 110 MW of utility-scale solar across three projects on the island of Oahu,creating the largest block of utility-scale solar power ever developed in Hawaii.
These 110 MW will account for 3% of Hawaiian Electric’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) goal of 100% renewable energy by 2045. The implementation of this project will take the RPS to 30%. This will help reach the 2045 goal in record time.The project combines three solar blocks – 49 MW Kawailoa Solar project, the 45.9 MW Waipi‘o Solar project and the 14.7-MW Mililani Solar II project.The energy will be generated from around 500k solar panels on a former sugar can farm for a sale price of $0.13/kWH until 2045.
Clearway Energy Group is working with local farmers to ensure the “agriculturally responsible element of project”. All three projects will utilize grazing sheep in order to benefit local farmers and partnerships.
In 2019, Hawaii’s solar capacity grew by 21% in 2019, its largest-ever annual increase.