It looks as though the planned 20 MW Mililani solar photovoltaic project is set to soon begin providing O’ahu residents with clean electricity, as a request has already been filed by operator, First Wind, and it’s partner, the Hawaiian Electric Company, with the Hawai’i Public Utilities Commission.
The request calls for a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) between the entities — the planned project will possess a capacity large enough to (potentially) supply more than 6,000 O’ahu homes with clean energy.
According to First Wind, during the 20-year PPA time period ratepayers will see cost savings of over $67 million, and over 87,000 barrels of oil use will be avoided every year. As per the agreement, electricity will be sold to Hawaiian Electric for 15.6 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) — a big decrease from current costs (23.3 cents per kWh).
If you’re wondering about the company’s name and the fact that it’s a solar project, not a wind one — the 20 MW Mililani solar project is the first to be developed by First Wind’s new solar division, the First Wind Solar Group.
“We are excited to expand our renewable energy efforts with the introduction of Mililani Solar, which will be Hawai’i’s largest photovoltaic farm to date,” stated Paul Gaynor, CEO of First Wind. “This is a milestone for First Wind as we look for new ways to turn Hawai’i’s abundant natural resources into affordable clean energy for the islands’ electrical grids. We look forward to working with local communities, the utility, the city, and the state, as we install this important renewable energy facility.”