Hawaii News Now – Developers break ground on new Oahu solar farm that will collect energy, but also store it

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) – A new solar farm coming to Oahu will provide a new source of electricity to consumers — even after the sun goes down.

The Kupono Solar and Battery Storage project will be located on 131 acres of military land in Ewa. It will eventually be large enough to power 10,000 homes.

But what’s special about the project is that it will use state-of-the-art battery technology that can store excess energy for up to six hours.

That energy can then be used during peak hours between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m., when demand is highest, developers said.

“So as the sun sets, we will be pulling the energy out of the batteries and into the grid to provide solar after sunset,” said Jason Smith, general manager of Bright Canyon Energy Corp.

Developers Bright Canyon and Ameresco Renewable Energy held a groundbreaking Friday attended by a number of local elected officials, military leaders and community leaders.

They say the project will likely be complete in 2024.

U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono said the project will be partially funded by tax breaks provided in the inflation reduction bill.

“This is really a coming together of a lot of different players of the military obviously, and two private companies,” Hirono said.

The project will create about 100 jobs and eliminate about 50,000 tons of carbon dioxide.

“When you see a project like this go into place, it’s not just an energy plan, it’s actually decarbonizing our environment. It also is economic diversification,” said Lt. Gov. Josh Green.

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