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 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 $67 Million.
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*Formerly AES Distributed Energy (AES DE)
Job creation and economic benefits
AES 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 the creation of 294 jobs and generate a total economic output of $67 million toward Hawai‘i's economy.
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.
Of the island's energy needs
Upon completion, the Project is anticipated to contribute approximately 15% of Maui’s energy needs. *
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
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
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) is being prepared 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.
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.
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.
Reduction in Project footprint - Use of a more efficient PV panel has enabled the reduction of the project area and an increased distance from nearby communities and Kuihelani Highway in an effort to minimize impact to neighboring residents to the greatest extent possible, and to utilize the least amount of land practicable.
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.
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 is actively exploring agricultural partnerships that would be compatible with solar and promote healthy soil and local food security.
Kuihelani Simulated Layouts
We appreciate your interest and participation in Hawai’i’s renewable energy future. We look forward to hearing your ideas, thoughts and comments.
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