Kūpono Solar Project can be first through Ameresco, Bright Canyon three way partnership

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By Chris Crowell June 9, 2022

The proposed Kūpono Solar Project, a mixed solar and battery system to be constructed on the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam West Loch Annex in Hawai‘i, is moving forward, announced Ameresco and energy infrastructure developer Bright Canyon Energy. The proposed project is designed to deliver 42 MW to Hawaiian Electric’s grid on the island of O‘ahu.

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The project includes the installation of a 42 MW solar array and 42 MW/168 MWh (four-hour duration) of lithium-ion battery storage system. Construction is expected to be completed in early 2024. Kūpono Solar, the joint venture, will own and operate this solar and battery project under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Hawaiian Electric.

Ameresco has been implementing energy solutions in Hawai‘i for over 15 years. Similarly, Bright Canyon has been developing energy infrastructure solutions since 2014. In 2021, Ameresco and Bright Canyon established a joint venture known as Kūpono Solar Development Company, LLC to partner together to advance the Kūpono Solar Project.

This is the first project for the joint venture to focus on renewable energy, energy security and resiliency on O‘ahu. In support of a Department of Defense long-term energy security initiative, Kūpono Solar signed a 37-year land lease with the Navy to provide critical energy resiliency upgrades. The lease provides the use of approximately 131 acres of underutilized lands within the Navy West Loch Annex of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

“The Navy is excited to see this joint Kūpono Solar/Hawaiian Electric project move forward for our community’s profit,” mentioned Capt. Randall E. Harmeyer, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam public works officer. “This enables us to put 131 acres of underutilized land to long-term, sustainable use for Hawai‘i at a time when the cost and reliability of worldwide energy supplies is of great concern and reflects the Navy’s core commitment to energy security and resiliency for America.”

Ameresco and Bright Canyon are working to deliver various clear energy options to Hawai‘i, and that is the primary mission supporting this massive, long-term energy resiliency plan.

“We are excited to be working with the Navy, Hawaiian Electric, and the community on this important sustainability project in Hawai‘i. The energy generated and stored on this underutilized land will directly benefit the residents, businesses, and communities of O‘ahu,” mentioned Nicole Bulgarino, govt vp, Ameresco. “In addition, it will replace energy generated by burning fossil fuel, thereby reducing emissions and greenhouse gases and create a cleaner, healthier place for residents to live, work and play.”

“This project aligns with the energy priorities and policies set forth by the state of Hawai‘i, including the 100 percent renewable energy and carbon neutral goals by 2045,” mentioned Jason Smith, General Manager of Bright Canyon Energy. “We are committed to working with Hawaiian Electric, the Navy and the local community as we move forward with this exciting project that will deliver a range of benefits for the clean energy future of O‘ahu.”

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Tags: Ameresco, utility-scale

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