Solar project breaks ground at West Loch
14 October 2022
From Anna Marie G. General, Navy Region Hawaii Public Affairs
EWA BEACH, Hawaii - The U.S. Navy, in partnership with Ameresco, held a groundbreaking and blessing ceremony for the Kupono Solar Project at the West Loch Annex on board Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH), Oct. 7.
The Kupono solar and battery energy storage system will be built on approximately 131 acres of federal land in Ewa Beach which will power 10,000 homes and remove more than 50,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions annually from Hawaii’s environment, according to Kupono Solar’s brochure.
The Navy plans to lease the land to Ameresco to develop the Kupono Solar Project, who will construct, own and operate 42 megawatts of renewable energy and feed electricity to the local utility, Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) for use by the public and the Department of the Navy (DON).
According to a briefing card stated by the U.S. Navy, the power generation facilities will provide renewable energy to the HECO power grid, which will greatly improve electrical resiliency and reliability for HECO customers on Oahu, including the Navy.
It will enable HECO to move cheaper, cleaner energy to where it is needed, both on and off base, while contributing to the state’s goal of generating 100% of Hawaii’s energy from renewable sources by 2045.
With the partnership between the U.S. Navy and Ameresco, it will provide benefits to the community and the Navy which will ensure full-base resilience in the event of a grid outage, maintain Navy operational capability in the event of widespread power outages, provide the Navy with the ability to “island” the JBPHH grid from the larger HECO grid, provide power for HECO to purchase and deliver to both the installation and the community, and improve islandwide power reliability.