Local partnerships shine in Clearway’s second solar farm for Hawaiian school
Clearway Energy Group has dedicated its new 36 MW Waiawa Solar farm in Hawaii with 144 MWh of battery storage. The milestone commemorates the company’s ongoing partnership with Kamehameha Schools on the island of Oahu.
The solar farm is located on 180 acres of land leased from Kamehameha Schools in Waiawa, Hawaii, in Central Oahu. As part of Clearway’s multi-year community commitment, Waiawa Solar is hosting local and mainland internships and programs for students in renewable energy education in partnership with Blue Planet Foundation and Kamehameha Schools.
Since its inception in 2018, the partnership has supported classroom programs and events for Hawaii students on climate change and renewable energy, as well as a summer internship program through which Native Hawaiian college students join the Clearway team to explore a wide range of careers in renewable energy. The Waiawa project will continue funding that program, which to date has sponsored 15 student interns. In 2022, Clearway’s partnership with Blue Planet Foundation helped support programming and events reaching more than 1,900 students and teachers in Hawaii.
“We’re thrilled to continue investing in Hawaii and to help the state move closer to its climate goals and its commitment to leaving the world a better place for future generations,” said Craig Cornelius, CEO of Clearway. “We are especially proud of working with Kamehameha Schools and Blue Planet Foundation to create access to clean energy education and exposure to career pathways.”
This is the second utility-scale solar project that Clearway has developed on Kamehameha Schools’ land.
“Our collaboration with Clearway has provided us with paths to steward our ‘āina in ways to reduce Hawaii’s dependence on fossil fuels while bringing ‘āina-based learning to haumāna through partnerships and innovations,” said Kā’eo Duarte, Kamehameha Schools’ VP of community and ‘āina resiliency. “We congratulate Clearway and Hawaiian Electric Co. in reaching this milestone which we believe will help to contribute to the resiliency of our communities.”
Clearway is a national independent power producer and leading solar energy developer in Hawaii. This is Clearway’s second utility-scale solar and battery project on Oahu and the fifth utility-scale solar project that it has developed on the island.
“Clean energy is better for our air, our health and our cost of living,” said Gov. Josh Green, M.D. “This solar project is an important addition to Oahu’s growing portfolio of lower-cost renewable resources to benefit all residents. We commend Clearway Energy Group and their partners for their continued contribution to providing clean energy at a price that is lower than fossil-fuel alternatives.”
The solar farm generates clean electricity at about half the cost of fossil fuels and feeds the entire Oahu grid, benefiting all island ratepayers. The battery system stores electricity to make it available after the sun goes down and when the demand for power peaks.
“As we work to stabilize energy costs for our customers, projects like Waiawa Solar play a critical role by feeding electricity to the grid at about half the cost of oil,” said Shelee Kimura, president and CEO of Hawaiian Electric. “Mahalo to Clearway and Kamehameha Schools for their contributions as we all work together to decarbonize our energy system. We look forward to bringing even more benefits to our communities as six additional projects come online over the next two years on Oahu.”
Kahu Kordell Kekoa conducted a Hawaiian blessing ceremony on the site, which generates enough clean electricity to annual power more than 7,600 homes.
Clearway has developed renewable projects in Hawaii since 2019, completing five solar projects totaling 185 MW for Hawaiian Electric’s grid.
Project construction was led by Moss and the batteries were supplied by Wärtsilä.
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