Solar Panels in Mountains

JBPHH SITE 6 – KŪPONO SOLAR

In mid-2021, Ameresco (NYSE:AMRC) was selected by the Department of the Navy (DoN) to lease and develop 131.36 acres of land at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam West Loch in support of a 42 MW solar power array and 42 MW/168 MWh battery energy storage (BESS) project named Kūpono Solar. The “enhanced use lease” was executed by the U.S. Navy under 10 U.S. Code § 2667 authority on 23 May 22.


The land at Site 6 had been deemed by the Department of the Navy as under-utilized and leased for agricultural purposes most recently. Because of its proximity to the West Loch Annex weapons storage depot/explosive safety arcs, the land is unusable for any other purpose besides agriculture, yet retains significant value for applications such as renewable energy generation.


In consideration for the leased land, Ameresco agreed to provide in-kind consideration in the form of fiber infrastructure upgrades, new solid-state relays, and a new Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition System to remotely monitor and control power and equipment within switching stations, and reroute power as needed. These investments – valued at over $18 million -  will improve system protection and oversight, reduce response time, and improve system adaption for specific scenarios (islanding, seasonal weather, transient waterfront loading).


This energy project will not connect directly to JBPHH, but rather directly support Hawaii’s goal of reaching 100% renewable energy by 2045 and backfill the significant energy gap resulting from the pending decommissioning of a 180MW coal-fired power plant on 1 September 2022. This plant currently meets approximately 15% of Hawaii’s electricity demand.


A follow-on project – to be executed under a separate LLC wholly-owned by Ameresco – is projected to provide over $100 million in IKC to JBPHH in the form of a fully resilient, black-start microgrid, inside-the-fence firm generation, and battery energy storage. Once complete, the total project value for all three projects is expected to be near $800 million and will enable HECO to provide higher quality, cheaper, and more reliable power to the DoN and their entire customer base on O’ahu.


In partnership with the DoN’s Real Estate and Energy teams, The Concourse Group, LLC (Concourse) is providing specialized program and project management support to include business case and viability analyses, project concept assessment and development, RFP development, and key support during the developer selection and negotiations phases. In addition, Concourse, via a subcontract with Power Engineers, is providing detailed power system studies and extensive highly technical engineering support to enable the scope development and ensure successful integration of the In-Kind Consideration Project. Via a subcontract with CommPac, Concourse is providing the DoN’s Public Affairs Office and local Public Works offices with Hawaii-specific strategic communications and community engagement expertise.