Hawaii’s Molokai Island gets 4.88 MW solar deal

Hawaii state utility regulators this month set in motion a 22-year power deal setting up a 4.88-MW solar farm and energy storage system that could provide nearly half of the electricity on the island of Molokai.

The Hawaii Public Commission’s final order allows Maui Electric to complete the PPA for renewables and electric services from Molokai New Energy Partners. The deal spurs completion of the solar photovoltaic site and battery complement located near Kaunakakai on Molokai.

The 4.88 MW of solar will be coupled with a 3 MW/15MWh energy storage system with maximum allowed export of 2.64 MW. The project will provide about 40 percent of the island’s demand once it’s completed and in service by the second quarter of 2019, according to the HPUC.

Molokai New Energy Partner’s request for approval estimated a total net fuel cost savings of about $34.5 million over time. The estimated levelized cost of the solar and battery project to customers would be about 18 cents per kWh, according to the filing.

MECO represents that the immediate savings for a typical residential customer on Molokai, as a result of the project, is expected to be “$4.63 in 2019 and $35.92 in 2024 on the customer’s monthly electric bill,” the HPUC order reads.

The state of Hawaii has set a 100 percent renewable energy goal by 2040.


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