New Hawaiian Solar Farm Expected to Save Customers $109 Million over 25 Years

Cal Poly Solar Farm Source: Cal Poly

Hawaiian Electric partners with REC Solar and the US Navy on 20MW West Loch solar farm, projected to save customers $109 million over its expected 25-year lifespan.

REC Solar and Hawaiian Electric Company broke ground on a 20-megawatt (MW), fixed-tilt solar facility, located at the U.S. Navy’s Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam West Loch Annex. Once completed, the West Loch solar farm will produce the lowest-cost renewable energy in the state at less than 8 cents per kilowatt-hour.

REC Solar will be building the 80,760-panel solar facility, the first grid-scale solar project to be owned and operated by Hawaiian Electric. Over its expected 25-year lifespan, the solar farm will save Hawaiian Electric customers approximately $109 million, reducing the utility’s use of imported oil by 76,000 barrels annually. The facility will feed into the island’s electric grid and serve all customers on Oʻahu.

In addition to the energy savings, the solar facility will be built on 102-acres of U.S. Navy-owned land. In exchange for the land, Hawaiian Electric is providing electrical infrastructure upgrades to US Navy-owned facilities.

Hawai’i’s clean energy mandate calls for 100% renewable energy by 2045. Hawaiian Electric is currently seeking qualified proposals for nearly 400 megawatts of grid-scale renewable energy projects for O’ahu, Maui and Hawai’i Island, the largest procurement in the state’s history. In the first nine months of 2017, the state generated more than 10% of its electricity from solar, one of only three states to do so.

Speaking of solar farms, a new one for the City of Bartow, Florida, is expected to generate 5 to 6% of the city’s annual energy requirements. Incorporating more than 28,000 high-efficiency solar panels, the solar farm ranks as one of the largest municipal solar facilities in the state, according to developer NovaSol Energy.

In January, Cal Poly unveiled its new solar farm, which, according to the university, will generate more than 11 million kWh per year — or about 25% of Cal Poly’s total needs — and includes more than 16,000 individual solar panels with a capacity of 4.5 megawatts (AC).



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