A trio of solar projects planned for Western Hawaii will be the first on the island of Hawaii to feature Hawaiian Electric’s shared solar program.
The Shared Solar Program, also known as Community Renewable Energy, or CBRE, aims to help reduce electricity bills for customers who reach low and moderate income levels and are unable to install private solar panels on the roofs. It also helps the utility meet Hawaii’s goal of 100% renewable energy for power generation by 2045.
CBRE programs are designed to promote broader participation in renewable energy projects by allowing electric utility customers to purchase equity in a renewable energy facility to offset their monthly energy consumption via a credit for this renewable energy on their utility bills, according to the state Department of Commerce. and consumption.
On the island of Hawaii, this credit will be 15 cents per kilowatt hour.
Nexamp Solar LLC has been selected by Hawaiian Electric to deliver the program through three solar plus battery projects: two in North Kona and the third in Ka’u. Each will be financed, built, owned and operated by Nexamp Solar under a 20-year power purchase agreement, which has yet to be signed with Hawaiian Electric with approval from the Public Utilities Commission.
The company aims to execute the deal by June 2023 and be operational no later than November 2025.
In North Kona, the two projects are dubbed Kalaoa A and Kalaoa B and will be located on 100 acres of mauka land in the Hawaiian Department of Lands at Queen Kaahumanu Road and the Hawaii Authority’s Natural Energy Laboratory.
The energy systems will each include 4.3 megawatts of solar photovoltaic generating capacity using FTC Voyager single-axis tracking racking.
In Ka’u, Nexamp will construct a system on approximately 176 acres of private farmland off Waiohinu Spur Road, west of Naalehu and mamalahoa Highway makai.
The system will consist of 4.2 megawatt solar PV generating capacity using FTC Voyager single axis tracking racks.
“Our proven track record as a long-term owner/operator has made us a trusted partner in hundreds of communities today and our seven new Nexamp projects in Hawaii will help the state achieve its decarbonization goals,” said said Zaid Ashai, CEO of Nexamp, said in a press release. “Dedicated to low- and middle-income residents, each of these shared solar projects will ensure equal access to participate and reduce their electricity costs while reducing the islands’ reliance on fossil fuels. We look forward to making our popular Community Solar Program and other consumer decarbonization services available to all Hawaiians in the years to come.
According to Nexamp, the company was founded in 2007 by two US Army veterans, Will Thompson and Dan Leary.
The three projects on the island of Hawaii are among seven Nexamp projects selected by Hawaiian Electric across the state. Three more are located in Maui while the fourth is in Oahu.
Once projects are available on Hawaiian Electric’s CBRE portal, low- and middle-income customers — including those who are renters and apartment residents — can become “subscribers” to a facility on their respective island.
Once projects are built and online, subscribers receive credits on their monthly electricity bill based on their level of participation in the project.
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