Things just may start looking up for solar energy projects on Oahu formerly owned by bankrupt SunEdison.
NRG Energy and Hawaiian Electric Co. came together and made purchase agreements on two big solar energy farms once owned by SunEdison, and are currently working on a third. In order to move forward with the projects, they would first need the approval of Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC).
Currently, the state of Hawaii has a renewable energy goal of 100% by 2045, these three projects would contribute 3% (about 109.6 mW) toward that goal.
Randy Iwase, the chairman of the PUC, claims there will be room on the grid for these three projects along with a recently completed solar project in Waianae by Eurus Energy. But going forward, there may not have any room left on the grid for any more large scale projects, only for community renewable projects.
When asked about the difficulties of having one grid separated onto each of the islands, Iwase stated, “Hawaii has one grid. It’s one sponge. You cannot over saturate that sponge. Our grid is very important and we face different challenges than on the Mainland. We have to have a diversity of resources, a diversity of energy production.”