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    Kuihelani Solar + Storage Project

    The Kuihelani Solar + Storage Project has reached an important milestone. The Project has been scheduled for a Public Hearing with the Maui County Planning Commission on Tuesday, November 9, 2021, at 9:00 AM. You may view and download the Notice of Public Hearing by clicking on the link below.

    Click here to download Agenda with hyperlinks to join the Maui Planning Commission Hearing. You may also visit the Maui County website to access the Agenda and any potential updates.

    Please visit Maui County's website here to view and download the application and supporting documents. 

    Notice of PH
    context - overhead view of solar panels and forest colombia Kuihelani Solar + Storage Project

    Hawai'i’s 100% clean energy future – locally produced renewable energy

    In 2008, the State of Hawai‘i established a goal to reduce the state’s reliance on imported fossil fuel and produce 100% of electricity from renewable energy sources by the year 2045.

    In 2018, the Hawaiian Electric Companies (HECO) issued the largest ever Request for Proposals (RFP) for renewable energy in the state’s history. Through that process, eight projects were selected including AES Clean Energy's Kuihelani Solar + Storage Project.

    AES Clean Energy (AES)* is proposing an 83 MW dc / 60 MW ac solar photovoltaic array + 240 MWh of containerized lithium-ion battery energy storage system (BESS) on approximately 450 acres of land in central Maui - off Kuihelani Highway. 

    The Project will provide a clean, reliable source of power for the equivalent of approximately 27,000 Maui homes and will deliver power to Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) at a low-cost fixed price over 25-years. The Project will enable HECO to burn less fossil fuel. 

    The Project is anticipated to create approximately 294 local jobs during Project development and construction, and generate an economic output of approximately $68 Million. 

    We want to hear from you. Please provide your comments via our project email: kuihelanisolar@aes.com or sign up for our newsletter to get the latest project information. 

    *Formerly AES Distributed Energy (AES DE)

    $68 Million

    Job creation and economic benefits 

    AES is deeply committed to contributing to the diversification of the island's economy and its economic recovery. It is estimated that Project construction would result in the creation of 294 jobs and generate a total economic output of $68 million toward Hawai‘i's economy. 

    $0.08 kWh

    Low-cost renewable energy

    Under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) approved by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), the Project would deliver power at $0.08/kWh – one of the lowest in the state for renewable energy, and less than the cost of fossil fuel power.* 

    15%

    Of the island's energy needs

    Upon completion, the Project is anticipated to contribute approximately 15% of Maui’s energy needs. *

    1,987,751

    Barrels of oil avoided

    The Project is expected to result in total avoided fuel consumption of 1,987,751 barrels of oil over its 25-year span.*

     

    *Source: Hawaiian Electric Company, PUC Docket No. 2018-0436

    May Site Map Update
    May Site Plan Update

    Kuihelani Solar + Storage project overview

    • 60 MW ac solar photovoltaic
    • 240 MWh containerized lithium-ion battery energy storage
    • Feeds into Maui utility (HECO) electrical grid
    • Located in Central Maui, off Kuihelani Highway
    • Utilizes approximately 450 acres of land leased from Mahi Pono
    • 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)
    • Decommissioning and return of Project area to its existing condition (or comparable) at end of the lifespan

    Community outreach

    AES is deeply committed to being an active, invested member of the communities we serve. 

    Collaboration and engagement

    Throughout the process, AES has and will continue to engage and listen carefully to community feedback on the Project. Specific issues identified by the community thus far are actively being addressed and we continue to seek input to ensure we are responsibly examining concerns.

    Culture and archaeology

    AES recognizes we have a responsibility to respectfully address the issues and perspectives of the Native Hawaiian community early in the process. With this understanding, we started the Project by undertaking the following actions: 

    • Consultation with Lineal and Cultural Descendants – One of the earliest outreach efforts we undertook was consultation with lineal and cultural descendants and the Maui Lanai Islands Burial Council to identify issues and concerns, especially those related to iwi kupuna. 

    • Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) – In consultation with descendants and the Burial Council, the Kuihelani Solar + Storage Project is one of Maui’s first projects to utilize Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) to identify subsurface anomalies. 

    • Archaeological Inventory Survey (AIS) and Cultural Impact Assessment (CIA) – An AIS and CIA have been conducted in consultation with descendants and the State Historic Preservation Division. A preliminary report has been presented to the Maui Lāna‘i Islands Burial Council and an archaeological monitoring plan (AMP) which outlines the plan for on-site monitoring during excavation and other ground-disturbing activities during construction to ensure archaeological resources are protected during the development of the Project has been reviewed and accepted by the State Historic Preservation Division (SHPD). 

    Traffic

    AES is committed to minimizing our impacts on Maui commuters.

    • Minimal Operational Vehicles and Traffic – Upon completion, only 2-4 vehicles per day will be required to operate and maintain the Project. 

    • Construction Traffic Management Plan – During the construction phase, a traffic management plan will be implemented to minimize traffic impacts. 

    • Traffic Impact Analysis Report (TIAR) – A full Traffic Impact Analysis Report (TIAR) is being developed for the Project. The analysis concluded that the construction of the Project will not adversely impact the traffic in the area. 

    Fire and safety

    Brushfires are a significant community concern and AES takes this issue very seriously.

    • Fire Suppression – Each battery storage container is equipped with a fire suppression system that will minimize the risk of fire from Project components.

    • Firebreaks – A non-vegetated firebreak will encircle the Project area as well as each battery storage area to further reduce fire risk.

    • Vegetation Management – AES will actively maintain the vegetation on-site to minimize the risk of brushfires spreading through the property.

     ​​

    Visual impacts and project footprint

    Community members have raised visual impacts and minimizing the land utilized as important considerations.

    • Reduction in Project footprint - AES takes community input seriously, and in response to feedback received, was able to reduce the overall project footprint by approximately 35% compared to the original site layout. The use of the newest, most efficient technology has enabled the reduction of the project area and an increased distance from residences in nearby communities and Kuihelani Highway.

    site comparison
    • Sensitive Siting – As much as possible, the Project has been designed and laid out to reduce visual impacts, especially along Kuihelani Highway and Maui Veterans Highway.

    • Landscaping – Where practicable, landscaping will be incorporated to further reduce visual impacts. 

    • Visual Simulations and View Planes – To better understand the visual impacts and to assist with refinement of the location of project components in order to minimize the impacts to commuters and residents, AES has prepared renderings to simulate views of the project from various vantage points. 

    • Glare –A glare analysis has been conducted from key observation points to minimize and mitigate impacts to commuters, residents, and air traffic. The analysis concluded the project will not produce glint or glare to commuters, air traffic, or nearby communities. 

    Agricultural use

    Community feedback indicated agriculture was a priority, along with clean energy.

    • Avoiding highly productive soil – the Project has been designed to avoid the most productive agricultural soil and is sited on LSB Class E soils.

    • Compatible use – AES would make the land within the Project area available at no cost for compatible agricultural activities such as rotational sheep grazing and local honey production which would promote natural vegetation management and contribute to Maui's local food production. 

    Visual Simulations

    Kuiheilani_Existing

    Existing conditions 

    Kuiheilani_Simulated

    Simulated conditions 

    book icon transparent

    Kuihelani Simulated Layouts

    Timeline

    Schedule updated June 2021
    shipping container

    Questions?

    We appreciate your interest and participation in Hawai’i’s renewable energy future. We look forward to hearing your ideas, thoughts and comments.

    kuihelanisolar@aes.com

    Lawai Sheep

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    Maui’s largest solar project OK’d by PUC

     

    Green farmland from the air.

    Kūihelani Solar Among Six PUC Approved Projects

    solar picture

    Largest Solar Project on Maui Gets Green Light From State

    Storage picture

    MECO increases renewable power, storage amounts sought in next procurement

     

    Follow our progress. Sign up to be on our Project mailing list.

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