Hawaiian Electric breaks ground on 20-MW solar park at Oahu navy base

One of Hawaii's existing solar power plants. Author: Official US Navy Page. License: Creative Commons: Attribution 2.0 Generic

April 17 (Renewables Now) - Hawaiian Electric Co has initiated construction on a 20-MW solar park at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, which it says will produce the lowest cost renewable power in Hawaii.

To be located at the West Loch Annex base in Honolulu, the plant is expected to generate electricity at a cost of less than USD 0.08 (EUR 0.064) per kWh, Hawaiian Electric said on Monday. The project is a joint partnership between Hawaiian Electric and the US Department of the Navy, which will get electrical infrastructure upgrades to Navy-owned facilities in exchange for use of the land on which the solar panels will be installed.

The West Loch solar park will consist 80,760 photovoltaic (PV) panels and will be constructed by REC Solar, while Hawaiian Electric will be its owner and operator. Commercial operations are slated to begin in December.

The power generated will be fed into the grid, serving all customers on Oahu, including those on the base. According to Hawaiian Electric, the solar farm will save customers at least USD 109 million over its 25-year lifespan, compared with the cost of using oil to produce the same volumes of energy.

(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.806)

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Veselina Petrova is one of Renewables Now's most experienced green energy writers. For several years she has been keeping track of game-changing events both large and small projects and across the globe.

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