Hawaiian Electric selects developers for solar projects

Hawaiian Electric has selected seven solar projects for its community-based renewable energy program, which aims to reduce utility bills for low- and middle-income customers who are unable to install a privately owned rooftop solar system.

The Company has selected Nexamp Solar through a tender process for all seven “Shared Solar” projects.

On Oahu, Nexamp is working with Melink Solar Development on a joint 6 megawatt project being built on Kaukonahua Road. Nexamp has also been selected for three projects on Maui adding up to 8 MW plus batteries and three other projects on the island of Hawaii adding up to 9 MW plus batteries.

Nexamp, a national clean energy company headquartered in Boston, intends to fund, build and operate the seven projects, which are expected to come online in 2025.

Nexamp CEO Zaid Ashai said in a press release that the company’s proven track record as a long-term owner and operator has made it a trusted partner in hundreds of communities and that the Hawaii projects will help the state meet its decarbonization goals. In the online project descriptions, Nexamp also said it planned to use local labor at prevailing wages for construction and ongoing maintenance.

“Each of these joint solar projects is intended for low- and middle-income residents and will ensure equal access to participation and lower their electricity bills while reducing the islands’ dependence on fossil fuels,” Ashai said. “We look forward to making our popular community solar program and other consumer decarbonization services available to all Hawaiians for years to come.”

In March, Hawaiian Electric issued a request for proposals to developers for its collaborative solar program — also known as community-based renewable energy.

The program offers customers who are unable to install their own rooftop solar system (because they rent or live in an apartment) to subscribe to a solar project to lower their electricity bills and reduce carbon emissions.

Developers build a solar system that becomes available on Hawaiian Electric’s CBRE portal, and then eligible customers can become subscribers to receive credits on their monthly electric bills based on performance and participation level. You must contact the subscriber organization directly on the island where the facility is located.

Hawaiian Electric said it considered cost and publicity during the evaluation process. In a press release issued this week, the company said it would now work to secure 20-year contracts with Nexamp and Melink for the seven joint solar projects.

“Shared Solar” project partners


>> Kaukonahua Solar: 6 megawatts (solar only)


>> Lipoa Solar: 3MW plus battery

>> Makawao Solar: 2.5MW plus battery

>> Piiholo Road Solar: 2.5MW plus battery

hawaii island

>> Kalaoa Solar A: 3MW plus battery

>> Kalaoa Solar B: 3MW plus battery

>> Naalehu Solar: 3MW plus battery

Visit hawaiianelectric.com/sharedsolar for more information.