First Wind, an independent renewable energy company that operates four wind projects in Hawaii, and Hawaiian Electric Co. said a request has been filed with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission to provide energy to the Oahu grid from a planned 20 MW AC solar photovoltaic energy facility near Mililani, Oahu under a 20-year power purchase agreement.
The planned project has the capacity to provide clean energy to the equivalent of 6,000 Oahu homes and, over the term of the contract, will provide cost savings to ratepayers of up to $67 million. It will also displace up to 87,000 barrels of oil per year.
Solar power will be sold to Hawaiian Electric at 15.6 cents per kWh, which is less than the Hawaiian Electric’s recent cost of generating power of 23.3 cents per kWh.
The project is the first in Hawaii to be developed by First Wind’s new solar energy division, First Wind Solar Group, which was established to explore solar energy opportunities near the company’s wind projects in Hawai‘i, the Northeast, and the West. The First Wind Solar Group leverages the company’s energy development expertise and contracts with experienced solar construction firms to build the projects. The project will be operated by First Wind.