Hawaiian Electric selects seven solar and storage projects for LMI program – pv magazine USA

The first seven DG solar and storage projects, available to low- and middle-income Hawaiians, have a total capacity of 23 MW and are being developed by Nexamp and Melink Solar.

Hawaiian Electric (HECO) has selected seven distributed-generation solar projects on the islands of Hawaii Island, Oahu and Maui that will provide clean energy to low- and middle-income (LMI) households.

HECO is offering solar procurement as part of a new community-based renewable energy or CBRE program to reduce utility bills for Hawaiian tariff payers and help customers who cannot afford the cost of installing rooftop solar panels.

In March 2022, HECO sent out requests for proposals to any developer, company, organization or group to create a subscriber organization of shared solar projects for the utility’s LMI customers.

Following a competitive RFP tender process, the projects selected for inclusion in the CBRE program were jointly developed by Nexamp Solar and Melink Solar Development. The utility continues to work with developers to secure 20-year contracts.

The LMI solar projects are scheduled to go into commercial operation in 2025.

CBRE PV project and subscription details:

hawaii island

Kalaoa Solar A 3MW + battery – nexamp.com/kalaoa-solar

Kalaoa Solar B 3MW + Battery – nexamp.com/kalaoa-solar

Nā’ālehu Solar 3MW + battery – nexamp.com/naalehu-solar

Oahu

Kaukonahua Solar 6MW (solar only) – nexamp.com/kaukonahua-road-solar

maui

Līpoa Solar 3 MW + battery – nexamp.com/lipoa-solar

Makawao Solar 2.5MW + Battery – nexamp.com/makawao-solar

Pi’iholo Road Solar 2.5MW + Battery – nexamp.com/piiholo-road-solar

According to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Hawaii’s Community Power, which ranks states based on community solar, net metering conditions, PACE funding, community choice aggregation, and various statewide tariffs and utility protocols, the state has Hawaii has a Class C community power rating.

Hawaii scores in the middle because the ILSR says the state has some policies that continue to help local governments make energy choices for consumers.

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, Hawaii jumped from 32nd to 18th in the US solar development market in 2021 after the Covid-19 pandemic ended with 1.49 GW of current PV installations as of mid-2022 became. The island nation has been held back by slow growth prospects and ranks 41st in the country based on 825 MW of pipeline developments over the next five years.

The Hawaii State Legislature under Gov. David Ige directed the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in June 2015 to create a “community-based renewable energy” tariff, Section 269-27.4 of the Revised Statutes of Hawaii. Details of tariffs and nationwide DG programs were found at PUC Docket No. Developed 2015-0389.

For more details on HECO’s CBRE solar program, visit the utility’s website and the community energy website.

Hawaii 2Q22 Solar Activity (SEIA).

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