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frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

See the Frequently Asked Questions handout in the Download section for details and background information.

The project combines 20 MW of solar photovoltaic electric capacity with 20 MW, 4-hour (80 MWh) of battery energy storage on land owned by Maui Land and Pineapple Company, Inc. (MLP) in Napili-Honokowai on the island of Maui. The solar array and associated infrastructure will utilize approximately 220 acres and connect into an existing Maui Electric Company, Ltd. (Maui Electric) transmission line adjacent to the site.

The Kahana site is located 1.4 miles mauka from the Kapalua Airport and the nearest residential community. The site is adjacent to existing transmission infrastructure and in an area with an excellent solar resource. The Project would utilize agricultural land, which has not sustained active activities since 2009; therefore, the installation of a solar project would not displace existing agricultural production.

Innergex responded to a competitive Request for Proposal (RFP) issued by Maui Electric in 2019 for renewable energy that will help stabilize and lower costs while reducing the state’s reliance on imported fossil fuels and cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

For 30 years, Innergex has believed in a world where abundant renewable energy promotes healthier communities and creates shared prosperity. As an independent renewable power producer which develops, acquires, owns and operates hydroelectric facilities, wind farms, solar farms and energy storage facilities, Innergex is convinced that generating power from renewable sources will lead the way to a better world. Innergex conducts operations in Canada, the United States, France and Chile.

Innergex will be responsible for 100% of the development, construction, and start-up costs. After completion, Innergex will also be responsible for all operational and maintenance costs.

Maui has some of the highest electricity prices in the United States at 35 cents per kWh. The price of solar plus battery energy storage in the recent Maui Electric RFPs is the lowest to date for renewable electricity in the state. The Project will provide a fixed, long-term price for 25-years, in place of volatile prices of fossil fuels, which will put downward pressure on electricity rates.

Kahana will power approximately 11,600 homes with renewable energy. This will contribute to the State of Hawai’i’s goal to be 100% renewable by 2045 and reduce the state’s dependency on imported fossil fuels. The project capitalizes on an abundant solar resource which is the least expensive form of renewable energy available in Hawai’i today.

In keeping with Innergex’s core values, preference will be given to local suppliers and contractors throughout the development of the project. During operations, the project’s community benefits package will be dedicated to funding the Pu’u Kukui Watershed Preserve to support its impressive conservation initiatives. Innergex will also provide an annual grant to non-profits to support energy efficiency measures and will support the cultural resource activities of the Aha Moku O Ka’anapali. Our community contributions will also include memberships and sponsorships of various organizations and events.

The battery storage system was a key aspect of the RFP. The batteries would be completely charged from the solar panels during the day. The energy can then be used during peak demand in the evening or at other times when the sun is not shining.

Respecting the archaeological, cultural, and environmental features of any site that Innergex develops is a priority. These studies and analyses will be conducted to gain a thorough understanding of the site and any findings. The intent is to arrive at the best possible final layout that balances archaeological, cultural, environmental, technical, economic, and community considerations.

Innergex must provide a complete analysis of the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions created throughout the life cycle of the project as part of the Maui Electric Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and Public Utilities Commission approval process. A recent and similar sized project analysis resulted in a comparison that showed a similarly sized solar project would eliminate 94% of the lifecycle and operational GHG emissions that would have been produced by the normal power generation mix.

Innergex responded to Maui Electric’s RFP and was selected to start PPA negotiations in May 2020. Innergex anticipates completing construction and beginning operation of the project by the end of 2023. The initial term under the PPA is 25 years. Thereafter, the project can be acquired by Maui Electric, have its PPA renewed, or be decommissioned, recycled and site restored to its original state.

The price of these utility scale projects remains lower than the utility’s overall cost and goes into their cost of procured power.  This project will be a part of that long-term plan and the price will remain the same to Maui Electric over the life of the PPA. 

As part of the decommissioning of a typical solar project after its useful lifecycle (between 25-35 years), any and all components associated with the project would be removed and the area returned to substantially the same condition as existed prior to project development. Decommissioning criteria include consideration of local environmental factors to minimize effects such as erosion during the removal process, and the recycling of all possible materials demolished or removed from the site.

Reuse or recycling of materials would be prioritized over disposal. Recycling is an area of great focus in the solar industry, and programs for both batteries and solar panels are advancing every year. Panels and batteries would most likely be shipped to recycling facilities on the mainland.

If any materials need replacing before the facility end-of-life, Innergex would seek the most environmentally-responsible route for reuse, recycling or disposal.