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    Kuihelani Solar + Storage Project

    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.

    $67 Millioneconomic output


    Job creation and economic benefits 

    IAES is deeply committed to lifting communities during these challenging times, and is working diligently to start construction as soon as possible. It is estimated that Project construction would result in creation of 294 jobs and generate a total economic output of $67 million toward Hawai‘i's economy. *

    $0.08 kWh

    less than the cost of fossil fuel 


    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 – the lowest in the state for renewable energy, and less than the cost of fossil fuel power. *


    of Maui’s energy needs


    Hawai‘i's Energy

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

    1,987,751barrels of oil avoided


    Fuel source


    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

    AES_Kuihelani _PublicEngagement

    Kuihelani Solar + Storage project overview

    • 60 MW 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 500 acres of land leased from Mahi Pono
    • 25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)
    • Includes decommissioning and return of Project area to its existing condition (or comparable) at end of lifespan

    Project details

    Collaboration and engagement

    AES Distributed Energy is deeply committed to becoming an active, invested member in the communities we serve.


    Community input

    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.



    AES is committed to minimizing our impacts on Maui commuters.

    • Minimal Operational Vehicles and Traffic – Upon completion, only 1-2 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. 

    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.


    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 are both underway in consultation with descendants and the State Historic Preservation Division. 


    Visual impacts

    Community members have raised visual impacts as an important consideration.

    • Sensitive Siting – As much as possible, the Project will be 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, AES is preparing renderings to simulate views of the project from various vantage points. 

    • Glint and Glare –A Glint analysis will be conducted from key observation points to minimize and mitigate impacts to commuters, residents, and air traffic. 


    Existing conditions 


    Simulated conditions 

    book icon transparent

    Kuihelani Simulated Layouts



    HECO renewable energy RFP

    (February) Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) request for proposals (RFP) for competitive procurement to supply renewable energy generation to Maui in order to help the state meet its goal of 100% renewable energy by 2045, bring more stable electricity costs to consumers and reduce its dependency on imported fossil fuel.


    Ongoing community consultation

    Community consultation to continue throughout the life cycle of the Project with emphasis on ensuring feedback informs project design and approach.

    (September) - Final award group is selected, AES selected for three out of eight solar + storage projects.


    Initial community meeting

    (November) Correspondence sent to community and early-stage community meeting held



    Contract to sell power

    (March 2019) Hawai'i Public Utilities Commission (PUC) approves Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) executed between HECO and AES DE.


    Ongoing project development: Due diligence

    Design, engineering, and permitting

    • Design and engineering is an iterative process
    • Archaeological Inventory Survey (AIS), Cultural Impact Assessment (CIA), Biological, Traffic and other site investigative studies have been/will be conducted.
    • County Special Use Permit (CUP) - Application to be filed with the County of Maui and Notice of Filing of Application sent to neighboring community
      • Includes public hearing before the Maui County Planning Commission
      • Feedback and information gathered from ongoing community engagement, due diligence, HECO technical review, consultation, and the permitting process will assist with refining and finalizing design and engineering




    Construction will begin only after all necessary county, state and federal approvals and permits are obtained.




    Guaranteed Commercial Operation Date 

    25 years of operation




    At the end of the Project's operational life, the Project would be decommissioned with the Project area returned to its existing condition (or comparable).

    shipping container


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

    tech - overhead view of tractor moving solar panels into place port bonython

    Isle’s largest solar project slated for old sugar fields

    Plants in nursery

    Maui’s largest solar project OK’d by PUC


    Green farmland from the air.

    Kūihelani Solar Among Six PUC Approved Projects

    House lit up at dusk with family outside

    Largest Solar Project on Maui Gets Green Light From State

    Hawaiian wind power

    MECO increases renewable power, storage amounts sought in next procurement


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