The Commander, Navy Region Hawaii (CNRH) has approved the environmental assessment of the proposed 5MW Kalaeloa Renewable Energy Park.
The project will be constructed on 8 hectares of land near Ewa Field, a former Marine Corps airstrip used during World War II, and will utilise 21,000 PV modules.
The project has been in development since 2009 by Scatec Solar North America and Hunt Companies. After three years in the making, the project developers have come up with a design which is said to minimise ground penetration so to preserve the integrity of the land and diminish the impact.
Hanwha SolarEnergy America joined the development team in 2012 to provide financing as well as operational services for a period of 20 years once the facility is complete.
The project has already inked a power purchase agreement following approval from the Public Utilities Commission for the contract between the independent power producer and Hawaiian Electric Company. It is expected to generate enough electricity to power around 1,000 homes a year.
With all major hurdles cleared, construction is scheduled to begin in January and begin operating in by June.
The project will help Hawaii to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and bring the state one step closer to meeting its target to produce 40% of electricity from renewable sources by 2030.
“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.”