Proposed Solar And Battery Project Promotes Clean Energy Use In Hawaii

Ameresco, Inc. and Bright Canyon team up to deliver clean, secure, resilient power to O‘ahu with new Solar and Battery project.


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Ameresco, Inc. and Bright Canyon Energy, a leading developer of energy infrastructure, proposed the Kūpono Solar Project, a combined solar and battery system to be built at the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam West Loch Annex in Hawai‘i. The proposed project is designed to deliver 42 megawatts (MW) of clean, renewable energy to Hawaiian Electric’s grid on the island of O‘ahu.

The project includes the installation of a 42 MW photovoltaic solar array and 42 MW/168 MWh (four-hour duration) of lithium-ion battery storage system. The batteries will store solar energy beyond sunset hours, enabling the project to deliver sustainable, renewable energy to power approximately 10,000 homes on O‘ahu. In addition, the clean energy project will be designed to reduce more than 50,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually from Hawai‘i’s environment – the equivalent to offsetting emissions from 12,000 cars every year.

Ameresco has been implementing energy solutions in Hawai‘i for over 15 years. Similarly, Bright Canyon has been developing energy infrastructure solutions since 2014. In 2021, Ameresco and Bright Canyon established a joint venture known as Kūpono Solar Development Company, LLC to partner together to advance the Kūpono Solar Project. This is the first project for the joint venture to focus on renewable energy, energy security, and resiliency on O‘ahu. In support of a Department of Defense long-term energy security initiative, Kūpono Solar signed a 37-year land lease with the Navy to provide critical energy resiliency upgrades. The lease provides the use of approximately 131 acres of underutilized lands within the Navy West Loch Annex of Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.

“The Navy is excited to see this joint Kūpono Solar/Hawaiian Electric project move forward for our community’s benefit,” said Capt. Randall E. Harmeyer, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam public works officer. “This enables us to put 131 acres of underutilized land to long-term, sustainable use for Hawai‘i at a time when the cost and reliability of worldwide energy supplies is of great concern and reflects the Navy’s core commitment to energy security and resiliency for America.”

Construction is expected to be completed in early 2024. Kūpono Solar, the joint venture, will own and operate the solar and battery project under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Hawaiian Electric.

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