Hawaiian Electric has proposed two solar projects — one on Molokai and the other on Lanai — in response to its own program to increase adoption of renewable energy in Hawaii.
One of the solar photovoltaic projects would be on Molokai and be up to 2.5 megawatts. It would be paired with a four-hour battery energy storage system and located on 7 acres at Hawaiian Electric’s Palaau Power Plant in Kaunakakai.
The utility also proposed a solar PV project on Lanai that would be up to 17.5 megawatts. It would be on about 73 acres near the Miki Basin Power Plant.
The utility will hold an online community meeting for the Molokai project at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 2. The community meeting for the Lanai project is scheduled for Dec. 3, also at 5:30 p.m. The meetings will be held on WebEx, but they will also be streamed on Hawaiian Electric’s Facebook page and on Akaku Maui Community Media’s Channel 54.
Both of the proposed projects are self-builds, which means they will be developed, constructed and owned by Hawaiian Electric. The proposals are responses to a request-for-proposal for Phase 2 of Hawaiian Electric’s Community-Based Renewable Energy program.
The CBRE program is meant to allow “customers who cannot put solar panels on the roof of a single-family home to participate in the renewable energy movement and save money,” according to Hawaiian Electric.
The program targets “renters and apartment residents, as well as many small commercial customers” who want to switch to renewable energy.
Hawaiian Electric said the Lanai project would be able to provide enough energy to meet the demands of the entire island. It would provide up to 3 megawatts to subscribers.
Other developers can submit their own project proposals, but Hawaiian Electric will choose whom to award the contract.
If Hawaiian Electric chooses its self-build on Lanai, the state’s Public Utilities Commission would have to approve the project because it is over 2.5 megawatts.
Phase 1 of the program was limited to 8 megawatts, but Phase 2 will be open to up 235 megawatts across the islands where the utility provides service: Oahu, Maui, Hawaii island, Lanai and Molokai.
Hawaiian Electric is accepting public questions for the projects prior to the community meetings. Questions for the Molokai project can be sent to MolokaiCBRE@hawaiianelectric.com, and questions for the Lanai project can be emailed to Lanai CBRE@hawaiianelectric.com.