In 2008, Hawaiian Electric sent out renewable energy project proposal requests for Oahu, Hawaii under the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) competitive bidding framework. As a result of that request, SunPower and Hawaiian Electric have agreed to a 20-year PPA with energy being produced from a 5MW solar farm at Kalaeloa in West Oahu. SunPower will design, build and operate the plant using its solar panels and SunPower Tracker system.
“We welcome this agreement for another solar facility for Oahu, part of our continuing effort to get as much renewable energy on our island grid as possible,” said Robbie Alm, Hawaiian Electric executive vice president. “Hawaii already leads the nation in solar watts per person, much of it generated by customer-sited roof-top PV arrays. This and other large-scale projects will increase our solar leadership and help us meet our clean energy goals.”
SunPower anticipates to begin construction on the 5MW power plant this year and complete the project within five months. The official start date is contingent upon final approvals from the PUC and other undisclosed entities. The companies note that the price per kilowatt-hour in the fixed-price, as-available contract is comparable to a solar facility that was recently completed and is lower than the proposed price for the third tier of Hawaii’s feed-in tariff.