Utility-scale solar plus battery storage in Waiawa advances Hawai‘i’s 100% clean energy goal
Waiawa, Hawai‘i — Clearway Energy Group’s (Clearway) 36-megawatt (MW) solar farm with 144 MWh of battery storage on Kamehameha Schools’ lands in Waiawa in Central O‘ahu recently achieved commercial operations after passing all of its necessary commissioning tests. The site will generate enough clean electricity to power more than 7,600 homes each year.
“We are proud to help Hawai‘i reach its climate goals and invest in renewable energy in the state,” said Craig Cornelius, CEO of Clearway. “We are immensely grateful for the collaboration with our partners Hawaiian Electric and Kamehameha Schools who help make those goals a reality.”
Clearway is a national independent power producer and leading solar energy developer in Hawai‘i. This is Clearway’s second utility-scale solar and battery project on O‘ahu and the fifth utility-scale solar project that it has developed on the island.
“Clean energy is better for our air, our health, and our cost of living,” said Governor Josh Green, M.D. “This solar project is an important addition to O‘ahu’s growing portfolio of lower-cost renewable resources to benefit all residents. We commend Clearway Energy Group and their partners for their continued contribution to providing clean energy at a price that is lower than fossil-fuel alternatives.”
“Stabilizing energy costs for our customers is a priority, and projects like Waiawa Solar will feed electricity to the grid at about half the cost of oil,” said Shelee Kimura, president, and CEO of Hawaiian Electric. “We appreciate Clearway’s and Kamehameha Schools’ contributions as we all work together to decarbonize our energy system, and look forward to bringing more benefits to our communities as six additional projects come online over the next two years on O‘ahu.”
This is also the second utility-scale solar project that Clearway has developed on Kamehameha Schools’ lands on O‘ahu.
“Our collaboration with Clearway has provided us with paths to steward our ‘āina in ways to reduce Hawai‘i’s dependence on fossil fuels while bringing ‘āina-based learning to haumāna through partnerships and innovations,” Kamehameha Schools’ Vice President of Community and ‘Ᾱina Resiliency Kā‘eo Duarte said. “We congratulate Clearway and Hawaiian Electric Co. in reaching this milestone which we believe will help to contribute to the resiliency of our communities.”
This newest solar and battery storage power plant represents a $150 million investment on approximately 180 acres of land leased from Kamehameha Schools. The solar farm generates clean electricity at about half the cost of fossil fuels and feeds the entire O‘ahu grid, benefiting all island ratepayers. The battery system stores electricity to make it available after the sun goes down and when the demand for power peaks.
Clearway has developed renewable projects in Hawai‘i since 2019, including a 45.9 MW site in Waipi‘o, a 14.7 MW site in Mililani, and a 49 MW site in Kawailoa on O‘ahu’s North Shore. In August 2022, Clearway completed O‘ahu’s first utility-scale solar and battery project in the Mililani Agricultural Park. Altogether, the five solar projects total 185 MW for Hawaiian Electric’s grid and generate enough clean electricity to power more than 45,500 O‘ahu homes each year.
Project construction was led by Moss and the batteries were supplied by Wärtsilä.