HONOLULU--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The Kalaeloa Renewable Energy Park solar project has received environmental assessment approval from the Commander, Navy Region Hawaii. The solar park will be comprised of 21,000 photovoltaic (PV) panels on 20 acres near Ewa Field, a former World War II era Marine Corps airstrip.
The concept of creating a solar energy project using overgrown, underutilized land began in 2009. The development team – Scatec Solar North America, Inc. and Hunt Companies – spent the following three years engaging and building consensus among numerous stakeholders.
As a result of active listening, a unique design was selected that greatly minimizes ground penetrations, thus preserving the integrity of the land and diminishing the impact. Achieving the environmental approval milestone is a significant advance that brings additional clean energy closer to Oahu residents. In November 2012, the Public Utilities Commission approved the power purchase agreement between the independent power producer and Hawaiian Electric Company.
In early December 2012, the last piece of the development puzzle was added, an easement through an industrial site required for electrical grid interconnection. With all major hurdles cleared, construction is anticipated to begin in January 2013.
Hanwha SolarEnergy America joined the development team in 2012 to provide financing and operate the facility for a 20-year period. With today’s technology, the useful life of the facility could extend to 40 years.
“Hanwha SolarEnergy America is delighted to participate in the development of what will be one of the largest utility-scale solar projects in the state of Hawaii,” said Matthew McCullough, CEO of Hanwha SolarEnergy America. “We are partnering closely with all parties involved to make sure we meet environmental and local goals.”
The project will reduce Hawaii’s reliance on foreign oil and help the state meet its mandate to produce 40% of electricity used from clean, renewable sources by 2030. The 5-MW renewable energy project will generate power equivalent to that used by 1,000 homes in a year.
“Not only will this project help Hawaii reduce its dependence on fossil fuels,” said Luigi Resta, CEO, Scatec Solar North America. “Working towards achieving a greener Hawaii is important for the future of our state.”
“We are pleased to get the go-ahead to make the Kalaeloa Renewable Energy Park project a reality and hope to be in operation by mid-2013,” said Steve Colón, president of Hunt’s Hawaii development division. “We are committed to environmental stewardship, energy efficiency and renewable energy.”
“This welcome project is another step toward protecting Hawaii’s economy and all our customers from the volatile price of imported oil,” said Robbie Alm, Hawaiian Electric executive vice president. “It will join other solar and wind farms as part of our effort to get all the renewable energy possible from Oahu, where we have the greatest demand but limited renewable resources.”
Based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates, the solar farm will produce enough renewable power to prevent almost 11,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, the equivalent to removing 37,600 cars from Hawaii’s roads over the 20-year term of the agreement.
About Hanwha SolarEnergy America
Hanwha SolarEnergy America (www.hseamerica.com) is a leading provider of solar system integration and solar power generation services for the North American commercial, utility, education and agriculture markets. Based in Irvine, CA, the company has additional locations in: San Francisco, CA; Tulare, CA; Philadelphia, PA; and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Founded in 2006 and with nearly 40 employees, Hanwha SolarEnergy America (HSEA) has a pipeline of nearly 1.5 GW of capacity in the U.S. As a partner of Hanwha SolarEnergy, part of the Hanwha Group, an $80 billion conglomerate based in South Korea, HSEA offers end-to-end development solutions including financing, engineering, procurement, construction, operation and maintenance services.
About Hunt Companies, Inc.
Founded in 1947, and operating in Hawai‘i since 1991, Hunt Companies, Inc. is a leading national real estate company dedicated to building values through development, investment and management. Hunt is focused in the core areas of public-private partnership, military housing, community development, real asset investment management and multifamily housing.
Hunt and its affiliates have $13 billion assets under management. These assets include 144,583 multifamily housing units and 8.3 million square feet of office, retail and industrial properties. Hunt has also developed 89,000 housing units, over 1 million square feet of commercial space and thousands of acres of land. Development project costs have totaled more than $6.3 billion, with more than $8.2 billion in construction costs.
Visit www.huntcompanies.com to learn more about Hunt, its heritage and commitment to values that build.
About Scatec Solar North America
SSNA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Scatec Solar AS, is located in Sausalito, California, and focuses on the development of commercial- and utility-scale solar power projects. These development capabilities include designing, constructing, operating and maintaining solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants. SSNA’s executive team consists of qualified individuals with extensive renewable energy development experience and success.
Scatec Solar AS, headquartered in Oslo, Norway, was formed in 2007 and is an established global developer of ground-mount and commercial rooftop PV solar energy solutions, focusing on making solar power attractive and affordable to customers and investors worldwide. Scatec Solar deploys the best available technologies to develop PV systems, and has the capability to handle all aspects of each project, from securing permitting rights to the final commissioning and operations. Scatec Solar has established its Competence Center in Regensburg, Germany. The Company is the first turnkey PV supplier with triple ISO certification for quality, environment and health. This full client service includes project development, structuring equity and long-term debt financing, turnkey construction, EPC, PPA contracting, and O&M capabilities. Scatec Solar has built a rapidly growing track record of more than 140-MW, best-in-class PV installations by targeting regions – Europe, USA, India, China, South Africa – with excellent solar irradiation and high return on investment potential. The Company’s current pipeline of project development exceeds 2 GW worldwide. www.scatecsolar.com
About Hawaiian Electric Company
Hawaiian Electric Company and its subsidiaries, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light Company, serve more than 400,000 customers on the islands of Oahu, Hawaii, Maui, Lanai and Molokai, home to 95% of Hawaii’s people. It is a subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric Industries (NYSE: HE). For more information, visit www.heco.com.