Second utility-scale solar project completed on ‘Āina Pauahi on O‘ahu

Jan. 18, 2023

Kamehameha Schools reached a renewable energy milestone with the recent completion of a second utility-scale solar project on ‘Āina Pauahi on Oʻahu.

Located in the ahupuaʻa of Waiawa in Central Oʻahu, and developed by Clearway Energy Group, the 36-megawatt solar farm with 144 MWh of battery storage recently achieved commercial operations after passing all its necessary commissioning tests. The site will generate enough clean electricity to power more than 7,600 homes each year.

“Our collaboration with Clearway has provided us with paths to steward our ‘āina in ways to reduce Hawai‘i's dependence on fossil fuels while bringing ‘āina-based learning to haumāna through partnerships and innovations," KS Vice President of Community and ‘Ᾱina Resiliency Kā‘eo Duarte said. “We congratulate Clearway and Hawaiian Electric Co. in reaching this milestone which we believe will help to contribute to the resiliency of our communities.”

Clearway is a national independent power producer and leading solar energy developer in Hawai‘i. This is Clearway’s second utility-scale solar and battery project on O‘ahu and the fifth utility-scale solar project that it has developed on the island.

“We are proud to help Hawai‘i reach its climate goals and invest in renewable energy in the state,” Clearway CEO Craig Cornelius said. “We are immensely grateful for the collaboration with our partners Hawaiian Electric and Kamehameha Schools who help make those goals a reality.”

This newest solar and battery storage power plant represents a $150 million investment on approximately 180 acres of land leased from KS. The solar farm generates clean electricity at about half the cost of fossil fuels and feeds the entire O‘ahu grid, benefiting all island ratepayers. The battery system stores electricity to make it available after the sun goes down and when the demand for power peaks.

The completion of the Waiawa solar farm activates $200,000 in community benefits over multiple years, including an educational partnership with the Blue Planet Foundation and an annual internship program with Kamehameha Schools students on the continent.

Project construction was led by Moss Solar and the batteries were supplied by Wärtsilä.