Hawaiian Electric Company and the Department of the Navy today dedicated the 20-megawatt West Loch Solar Project at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam West Loch Annex. West Loch Solar is producing the lowest-cost renewable energy to date in the state at an estimated 7.5 cents per kilowatt-hour. Hawaiian Electric will own and operate the 80,760-panel solar facility, which was built by REC Solar.
The renewable energy generated by the 102-acre West Loch project will feed into the island’s electric grid and serve all customers on Oahu, including those on base.
The project will save Hawaiian Electric customers at least $109 million over its expected 25-year lifespan, compared with the cost of using oil to generate electricity. It will also reduce the utility’s use of imported oil by 3 million gallons annually.
“West Loch Solar is another shining example of how all in Hawaii can work together to create renewable energy, reducing our need to import fossil fuel,” said Alan Oshima, Hawaiian Electric president and CEO. “We thank the community, the U.S. Navy and the PUC for their shared commitment and kokua.”
In exchange for the land to host the facility, the utility plans to provide electrical infrastructure upgrades to Navy-owned facilities.
“Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam is the key strategic installation for our interests in the Pacific,” said Rear Adm. Robb Chadwick, commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific. “We are pleased to be able to increase our base’s energy resiliency while also helping Hawaiian Electric strengthen the state’s electric grid. Innovative, long-term energy solutions like this mutually enhances the Navy’s readiness and the strength of our local communities.”
The Hawaiian Electric Companies are national leaders in the integration of renewable energy on their island grids, using renewables to generate 27 percent of their electricity in 2018. By 2022, there will be more than 4.4 million solar panels delivering energy to our grid.