HONOLULU – May 16, 2023 – AES officials announced today that the recently closed coal power plant at Barbers Point, the state’s largest power plant facility, will be dismantled and the 8.5-acre site returned to its original condition.
Bernerd Da Santos, Executive Vice President, COO and President of AES Global Renewables, said, “We are proud of the coal plant’s 30-year record of consistently providing safe, reliable and low-cost energy to the people of O‘ahu. The energy generated at the plant supported Hawai‘i's social and economic development and allowed for the growth of various industries on O‘ahu these past three decades.
“As Hawai‘i transitions to renewables, AES Hawai‘i remains fully committed to supporting the state, our partners, and the community to meet current and future energy needs. Together, we will continue to develop renewable energy projects and co-create innovative energy solutions to achieve zero carbon emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change for our children and future generations.”
With the coal plant’s closure, AES Hawai‘i now has a 100% renewable energy portfolio of projects statewide, with nine projects currently in operation or under development in all four island counties, more than any other developer. The projects will collectively provide more than 300 megawatts of renewable energy, enough to power 120,000 homes statewide. In addition, 175,000 metric tons of carbon emissions and 15.2 million barrels of oil consumption will be eliminated over the course of the projects’ lifecycles.
AES invested more than $300 million to build the 180-megawatt coal plant facility, which began operations on September 1, 1992, under a 30-year power purchase agreement with Hawaiian Electric. Thirty years later, Hawai‘i’s last coal-fueled power plant closed on September 1, 2022, after producing up to 20% of O‘ahu’s electricity at the low cost of 12-cents per kilowatt hour. State law enacted in 2020 prohibited energy from being produced using coal after December 31, 2022, in support of Hawai‘i’s goal to have 100% renewable energy on the grid by 2045.
Sandra Larsen, AES Hawai‘i Market Business Leader, noted that permits are being sought to dismantle the facility, which is expected to begin later this year and will then take about two years to complete the process and clear the project site.
“Dismantling a power plant facility is a complicated, methodical process, especially one this big,” said Larsen. “Our highest priority is that the dismantling process will be done carefully and safely and that the transporting of materials off site will be as least disruptive as possible to the communities and businesses in the area.”
In keeping with the terms of the agreements, the steel, concrete and other materials that comprise the entire facility will be removed from the site and recycled or properly disposed of. Once all of the materials and debris have been cleared away, the entire 8.5-acre site will be graded, with topsoil added and native grass seed planted. AES Hawai‘i will continue to provide maintenance of the site.
The AES Corporation (NYSE: AES) is a Fortune 500 global energy company accelerating the future of energy. Together with our many stakeholders, we’re improving lives by delivering the greener, smarter energy solutions the world needs. Our diverse workforce is committed to continuous innovation and operational excellence, while partnering with our customers on their strategic energy transitions and continuing to meet their energy needs today. For more information about AES Hawai‘i, please visit www.aeshawaiienergy.com.
In support of Hawai‘i’s 100% renewable energy goal of 2045, AES Hawai‘i is accelerating its commitment to a greener energy future with nine renewable projects currently in operation or under development in the state, more than any other renewable energy developer. These projects will collectively provide more than 300 MW of renewable energy, enough to power 120,000 homes statewide, while eliminating more than 175,000 metric tons of carbon emissions and 15.2 million barrels of oil consumption over the course of their lifecycles. For more information about AES Hawai‘i, please visit www.aes.com/hawaii.