Kalaeloa Renewable Energy Park, one of Hawaii's largest solar energy generation facilities, has begun generating electricity for Hawaiian Electric customers on the island of Oahu. Following four years of development and construction, the 5 MW, utility-scale solar park was successfully tested and commissioned on November 22.
The renewable power plant, which sits on a 20-acre property adjacent to the Barbers Point Golf Course in the community of Kalaeloa, is expected to reduce the fossil fuel consumption on the island.
The facility is comprised of 21,000 photovoltaic (PV) panels and will generate around 9 million kWh of electricity per year, enough to power 1,000 homes, bringing the state one step closer to meeting its target to produce 40 percent of electricity from renewable sources by 2030.
Based on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates, Kalaeloa Renewable Energy Park will produce enough renewable power to prevent nearly 11,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually. This is equivalent to removing nearly 38,000 cars from Hawaii’s roads over the 20-year term of the agreement.
In November 2012, Hawaii Public Utilities Commission approved a 20-year power-purchase agreement between the partnership and Hawaiian Electric. Hanwha Q CELLS USA owns the Park, with sale-leaseback financing through PNC Bank.