AES is deeply committed to contributing to the diversification of the island's economy and its economic recovery. It is estimated that Project construction would result in the creation of 294 jobs and generate a total economic output of $68 million toward Hawai‘i's economy.
Low-cost renewable energy
Under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) approved by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), the Project would deliver power at $0.08/kWh – one of the lowest in the state for renewable energy, and less than the cost of fossil fuel power.*
Of the island's energy needs
Upon completion, the Project is anticipated to contribute approximately 15% of Maui’s energy needs. *
Barrels of oil avoided
The Project is expected to result in total avoided fuel consumption of 1,987,751 barrels of oil over its 25-year span.*
*Source: Hawaiian Electric Company, PUC Docket No. 2018-0436
Kuihelani Solar + Storage
60 MWac solar photovoltaic
240 MWh containerized lithium-ion battery energy storage
Feeds into Maui utility (HECO) electrical grid
Located in Central Maui, off Kuihelani Highway
Utilizes approximately 450 acres of land leased from Mahi Pono
25-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)
Decommissioning and return of Project area to its existing condition (or comparable) at end of the lifespan
Collaboration and engagement
AES Hawaiʻi is deeply committed to being an active, invested member of the communities we serve.
Throughout the process, AES Hawaiʻi has and will continue to engage and listen carefully to community feedback on the Project. Specific issues identified by the community thus far are actively being addressed and we continue to seek input to ensure we are responsibly examining concerns.
Culture and archaeology
AES Hawaiʻi recognizes we have a responsibility to respectfully address the issues and perspectives of the Native Hawaiian community early in the process. With this understanding, we started the Project by undertaking the following actions:
Consultation with Lineal and Cultural Descendants – One of the earliest outreach efforts we undertook was consultation with lineal and cultural descendants and the Maui Lanai Islands Burial Council to identify issues and concerns, especially those related to iwi kupuna.
Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) – In consultation with descendants and the Burial Council, the Kuihelani Solar + Storage Project is one of Maui’s first projects to utilize Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) to identify subsurface anomalies.
Archaeological Inventory Survey (AIS) and Cultural Impact Assessment (CIA) – An AIS and CIA have been conducted in consultation with descendants and the State Historic Preservation Division. A preliminary report has been presented to the Maui Lāna‘i Islands Burial Council and an archaeological monitoring plan (AMP) which outlines the plan for on-site monitoring during excavation and other ground-disturbing activities during construction to ensure archaeological resources are protected during the development of the Project has been reviewed and accepted by the State Historic Preservation Division (SHPD).
AES Hawaiʻi is committed to minimizing our impacts on Maui commuters.
Minimal Operational Vehicles and Traffic – Upon completion, only 2-4 vehicles per day will be required to operate and maintain the Project.
Construction Traffic Management Plan – During the construction phase, a traffic management plan will be implemented to minimize traffic impacts.
Traffic Impact Analysis Report (TIAR) – A full Traffic Impact Analysis Report (TIAR) is being developed for the Project. The analysis concluded that the construction of the Project will not adversely impact the traffic in the area.
Fire and safety
Brushfires are a significant community concern and AES takes this issue very seriously.
Fire Suppression – Each battery storage container is equipped with a fire suppression system that will minimize the risk of fire from Project components.
Firebreaks – A non-vegetated firebreak will encircle the Project area as well as each battery storage area to further reduce fire risk.
Vegetation Management – AES will actively maintain the vegetation on-site to minimize the risk of brushfires spreading through the property.
Visual impacts and project footprint
Community members have raised visual impacts and minimizing the land utilized as important considerations.
Reduction in Project footprint - AES takes community input seriously, and in response to feedback received, was able to reduce the overall project footprint by approximately 35% compared to the original site layout. The use of the newest, most efficient technology has enabled the reduction of the project area and an increased distance from residences in nearby communities and Kuihelani Highway.
Sensitive Siting – As much as possible, the Project has been designed and laid out to reduce visual impacts, especially along Kuihelani Highway and Maui Veterans Highway.
Landscaping – Where practicable, landscaping will be incorporated to further reduce visual impacts.
Visual Simulations and View Planes – To better understand the visual impacts and to assist with refinement of the location of project components in order to minimize the impacts to commuters and residents, AES has prepared renderings to simulate views of the project from various vantage points.
Glare –A glare analysis has been conducted from key observation points to minimize and mitigate impacts to commuters, residents, and air traffic. The analysis concluded the project will not produce glint or glare to commuters, air traffic, or nearby communities.
Community feedback indicated agriculture was a priority, along with clean energy.
Avoiding highly productive soil – the Project has been designed to avoid the most productive agricultural soil and is sited on LSB Class E soils.
Compatible use – AES would make the land within the Project area available at no cost for compatible agricultural activities such as rotational sheep grazing and local honey production which would promote natural vegetation management and contribute to Maui's local food production.
In 2008, the State of Hawai‘i established a goal to reduce the state’s reliance on imported fossil fuel and produce 100% of electricity from renewable energy sources by the year 2045.
In 2018, the Hawaiian Electric Companies (HECO) issued the largest ever Request for Proposals (RFP) for renewable energy in the state’s history. Through that process, eight projects were selected including AES Clean Energy's Kuihelani Solar + Storage Project.