The new 5MW Kalaeloa Solar Farm has gone online in West Oahu, Hawaii. Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie joined representatives of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) and Hawaiian Electric Company during during an event hosted by Bright Plain Renewable Energy (BPRE), who manages the solar farm.
“Hawaii has growing energy demand and abundant sunshine, and it makes sense for the state to maximize our use of this clean, reliable and affordable solar resource,” said Governor Abercrombie. “I applaud partners Bright Plain Renewable Energy, SunPower, Hawaiian Electric Company, and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands for uniting to build this project. As the largest, most productive solar farm on Oahu to date, it will have significant positive impact on the state’s renewable portfolio standards goal of 40 percent by 2030.”
At the 36-acre site, SunPower installed its SunPower solar panels on a SunPower T0 Tracker system. According to SunPower, the Tracker positions solar panels to follow the sun’s movement during the day, increasing sunlight capture by up to 25 percent over conventional fixed-tilt systems, while significantly reducing land requirements.
“Solar is a valuable source of power and attractive investment opportunity, particularly in Hawaii, as it cleanly and reliably serves our growing energy demand without imported fossil fuels, while providing a predictable, low risk return to investors over a long period of time,” said David Buzby, CEO of BPRE. “We’re confident that, with SunPower’s leading solar power plant technology, this project will benefit the residents of Oahu for years to come.”
The solar farm is the first utility-scale solar project on state land, located on 36-acres leased from the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands. Hawaiian Electric will buy the power produced by the solar farm under a fixed-price contract for 20 years.