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AES Hawai‘i begins operations of the state’s largest solar facility

                                The Kuihelani Solar-plus-Storage facility on Maui that began producing renewable energy on May 31.
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The Kuihelani Solar-plus-Storage facility on Maui that began producing renewable energy on May 31.

Utility and power generation company AES Hawai‘i has started operations at the state’s largest solar facility on Maui.

The Kuihelani Solar-plus-Storage sits on 450 acres in central Maui, and is producing 60 megawatts of renewable energy supported by a 240 MWh lithium-ion battery energy storage system to supply 15% of Maui’s energy needs, Hawaiian Electric said in a statement.

AES has a 25-year power purchase agreement with Hawaiian Electric starting from May 31 of this year, aiming to supply renewable energy to Maui’s power network at a rate of 8 cents per kilowatt-hour.

The project also offsets the need to import two million barrels of oil to Maui for electricity generation, the statement added.

AES Hawai‘i President Sandra Larsen said that this is AES’ first utility-scale solar project on Maui and the latest example of how AES Hawai‘i is committed to supporting the state’s 100% renewable energy and decarbonization goals of 2045.

“Kuihelani Solar-plus-Storage exemplifies what is possible for powering our future when you combine an exceptional renewable energy project with community-minded partners to provide an essential service for living and working in Hawai‘i,” Larsen said in a statement. “We broke ground in July 2022, overcame challenges posed by supply chain logistics, and are now producing much-needed clean energy for Maui’s power grid.”


Star-Advertiser staff and news services

Correction: This story was edited to remove an unrelated sentence about Hawaiian Electric’s April notice to Hawaii island customers. The company had asked Big Island customers to conserve energy, but did not warn them about possible rolling blackouts.
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