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Kamehameha Schools, Clearway Energy, HECO and Moss construction leaders break ground on ‘Ᾱina Pauahi in the ahapua‘a of Waiawa for a utility-scale solar and battery storage facility that will move Hawai‘i closer to its 100% clean energy goal. Representing KS were Leasing and Transactions Director Dana Sato (foreground) and Land Asset Manager Todd Gray, (opposite end of the line).

KS, Clearway break ground for solar project in Waiawa

April 12, 2021

Contributed by Crystal Kua

Kamehameha Schools produces more renewable energy on its lands than any other private landowner in Hawai'i with facilities generating more than 100 megawatts of clean energy across the pae ‘āina. In partnership with Clearway Energy, the newest project located on ‘Ᾱina Pauahi in the ahupuaʻa of Waiawa will be among the first utility-scale battery storage and solar facilities on the island. It will generate power to move Hawai‘i closer to its goal of generating 100% of its power using renewable energy by 2045.

In tandem with Clearway’s other solar project in Mililani that also broke ground recently, the two projects represent a $280 million investment and will create more than 460 local union jobs during construction. Once complete, the sites are expected to contribute more than $10 million in taxes to the city and county. This solar project is one of two utility-scale facilities that Kamehameha Schools is planning within the ahupua‘a of Waiawa and, with Kawailoa Solar, the second developed by Clearway on ‘Ᾱina Pauahi.

“Kamehameha Schools stewards its lands for resilience and abundance with a focus on reducing Hawaiʻi’s dependence on fossil fuels, creating a renewable energy industry in Hawai‘i, and bringing ʻāina-based learning and leadership pathways to our community as part of our mission to improve the well-being of the Native Hawaiian people,” said Kā‘eo Duarte, Kamehameha Schools vice president for Community & ‘Ᾱina Resiliency. “We extend our mahalo to Clearway for being a valued partner on this journey toward a clean, sustainable future.”

Once complete, Waiawa will contribute $200,000 in community benefits in the coming years, including an educational partnership with Blue Planet Foundation to develop school curriculums on renewable energy, as well as an annual mainland internship program with Kamehameha School students.

“Hawai‘i has long led the nation on climate solutions, and we’re honored to continue contributing to that mission with two new renewable energy sites in the state,” said Craig Cornelius, CEO of Clearway. “The addition of solar paired with storage on O‘ahu is an important step toward a clean, affordable, and reliable electric grid. We thank Hawaiian Electric, Kamehameha Schools, and many others for their ongoing partnership to advance innovative energy projects and move Hawai‘i toward a carbon-free economy.”

The building of Waiawa Solar Power is being led by Moss, a local construction company with offices in California, Texas and Florida. It is slated for completion in 2022.

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