Hawaiian Electric Co. is further advancing Hawaii’s clean energy goals with a new wind power purchase agreement with EE Ewa LLC.
Through a new agreement under review by the state’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC), the utility will purchase electricity from a 46.8 MW facility to be known as Palehua Wind.
If approved, Palehua Wind will be built on approximately 1,600 acres on the eastern slope of the Waianae Range, owned in part by Gill Ewa Lands, an organization that aims to restore the health of the Waianae mountain ecosystem at Palehua.
The project will consist of 13 wind turbines capable of generating roughly 150,000 MWh of energy annually, equivalent to the power used by about 25,000 homes. The project will reduce fossil fuel use and greenhouse-gas emissions and increase Hawaiian Electric’s renewable energy portfolio 2% during the 22-year term of the agreement.
EE Ewa will sell electricity to Hawaiian Electric at a levelized cost of 10.975 cents per kilowatt-hour, providing savings to customers as it displaces higher-cost fossil fuel power generation.
Pending approval by the PUC and other permit approvals, the project is expected to be operational by December 2022. The project organizers will work with the community to ensure that cultural and archaeological sites will be respected, preserved and protected. In addition to significantly increasing renewable energy generation on Oahu, the sale of power will help fund the Gill Ewa Lands restoration of the Palehua area, reducing the risk of erosion and brushfires.
“Hawaii has abundant natural resources and opportunities to be a leader in renewable energy, reducing its reliance on expensive fossil fuels that pollute the air,” says Satoshi Takahata, president and CEO of Eurus Energy America, the parent company of EE Ewa LLC. “Last year, we successfully completed the development of the largest solar farm in the state, and we’re committed to supporting projects that advance Hawaii toward a sustainable future. Palehua Wind will provide long-term economic benefits, energy security and job opportunities while bringing the state closer to its 100 percent renewable energy goal.”
San Diego-based Eurus Energy America is responsible for renewable energy development in North America on behalf of Eurus Energy Holdings, jointly owned by Toyota Tsusho Corp. and Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings Inc. Eurus Energy also owns the 27.6 MW Waianae Solar project, which is the largest solar facility in operation in Hawaii. Its first wind farm, built in the California desert in 1987, remains in operation today.