Hawaiian Electric to Add 40 MW Renewable Energy - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Storage, Utilities, Industrial, Solar, Sourcing Renewables  -  February 21, 2024

Hawaiian Electric to Add 40 MW Renewable Energy

Hawaiian Electric Company plans to add the proposed 'Ūkiu Energy 40-megawatt (MW) renewable energy site in Maui to increase grid reliability on the island.

The addition of the renewable energy site will help the state reach its goal of achieving 100% renewable electricity and carbon neutrality by 2045, according to a statement.

The proposed facility will include a biofuel-powered generator with six dual-fuel engines. It will offer firm renewable energy and provide a highly flexible capacity resource. The facility will also maintain power quality, enhance grid reliability and allow for the additional integration of intermittent renewable resources. 

The new engines will enable current fossil fuel generators to turn down their idling engines, which supports decarbonization efforts. 

The facility is part of Hawaiian Electric Company’s plan to lower its dependence on imported oil for power generation. After the 'Ūkiu Energy contract is finalized, it will be submitted to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for review and approval. 

Once the project is approved, it will be built, owned and operated by Ameresco. It is designed to interconnect to the Maui electrical grid at the new Hawaiian Electric Waena substation.

'Ūkiu Energy is Ameresco’s fourth award with Hawaiian Electric, building on the success of Kūpono Solar, a 42-MW solar and 42-MW/168-MWh battery storage facility on Oahu that is expected to come online in the second quarter of 2024. Pu`uloa Energy, a 99-MW firm renewable generation facility on Oahu, is expected online in 2027, and Pu`uloa Solar, a 6-MW solar and 6-MW/30-MWh battery storage facility on Oahu, is expected online in 2026.

'Ūkiu Energy, Pu`uloa Energy and Pu`uloa Solar remain subject to PUC approval.

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