First Wind to Sell Power from planned Solar Project to Hawaiian Electric

The planned Mililani Solar project on O‘ahu will provide enough clean energy to power the equivalent of 6,000 O‘ahu homes and save consumers up to $67 million

HONOLULU--First Wind, an independent renewable energy company that operates four wind projects in Hawai‘i, and Hawaiian Electric Company today announced that a request has been filed with the Hawai‘i Public Utilities Commission to provide energy to the O‘ahu grid from a planned 20-megawatt (MW) (AC) solar photovoltaic energy facility near Mililani, O‘ahu under a 20-year power purchase agreement.


The planned project has the capacity to provide clean energy to the equivalent of 6,000 O‘ahu homes and, over the term of the contract, will provide cost savings to ratepayers of up to $67 million. It will also displace up to 87,000 barrels of oil per year. Power will be sold to Hawaiian Electric at 15.6 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh), which is significantly less than the Hawaiian Electric's recent cost of generating power of 23.3 cents per kWh.

The project is the first in Hawai‘i to be developed by First Wind's new solar division, First Wind Solar Group, which was established to explore solar energy opportunities near the company's wind projects in Hawai‘i, the Northeast, and the West. The First Wind Solar Group leverages the company's energy development expertise and contracts with experienced solar construction firms to build the projects. The project will be operated by First Wind.

"We are excited to expand our renewable energy efforts with the introduction of Mililani Solar, which will be Hawai‘i's largest photovoltaic farm to date," said Paul Gaynor, CEO of First Wind. "This is a milestone for First Wind as we look for new ways to turn Hawai‘i's abundant natural resources into affordable clean energy for the islands' electrical grids. We look forward to working closely with local communities, the utility, the city and the state as we install this important renewable energy facility."

The power purchase agreement with Hawaiian Electric for the Mililani Solar project supports a mandate set by the Hawai‘i Clean Energy Initiative (HCEI) to achieve 70 percent of Hawai‘i's energy through conservation and clean energy sources by 2030, and reduce Hawai‘i's reliance on imported fossil fuel.

First Wind was selected by landowner Castle & Cooke Hawai‘i to develop the Mililani Solar farm on 135 acres of Castle & Cooke land south of Mililani. Previously, the same site was designed as four separate 5 MW solar projects by four different developers. Consolidating to a single 20 MW project enabled the project to be developed more efficiently and the energy to be delivered at a lower price.

"We are pleased to be working with First Wind Solar Group to create the largest solar PV project on O‘ahu to date; to provide more renewable energy for O‘ahu," said Harry Saunders, president of Castle & Cooke Homes Hawai‘i. "The Mililani Solar project is another investment in Hawai‘i and its communities by Castle & Cooke, furthering our land use diversification and mission of providing for the needs of Hawai‘i."

About First Wind

First Wind is an independent renewable energy company exclusively focused on the development, financing, construction, ownership and operation of utility-scale renewable energy projects in the United States. Based in Boston, First Wind is operating or building renewable energy projects in the Northeast, the West and Hawai‘i, with combined capacity of nearly 1,300 megawatts (MW) – enough to power more than 375,000 homes each year. For more information on First Wind, please visit www.firstwind.com or follow us on Twitter @FirstWind.

Featured Product

Roof Tech – E Mount AIR

Roof Tech - E Mount AIR

The most compact versatile rail-less PV mounting system under the sun. Instead of placing solar panels on top of long rails, simply attach E Mount AIR to rafters or the roof decking. Once panels are fastened to the roof, the system array is electrically bonded. The result is a visually seamless PV installation that stands the test of time. - Truly "One With The Roof". - PE stamped cert. letters available, UL 2703 Classified, ASTM 2140 fully waterproof. The one and only with integrated flexible flashing certified by the ICC! All the best quality. Only from Roof Tech