Haleakala Ranch Site Second Large-Scale Photovoltaic Project within South Maui
“Pacific Green Ikehu LLC (subsidiary of SB Energy) is proposing to develop the Kamaole Solar Project, a 40 MW solar photovoltaic energy project paired with a 160 MWh battery energy storage on Maui. The proposed project will occupy approximately 320 acres of Haleakala Ranch land in the Kamaole Ahupua’a of Maui.” (sbenergy.com).
Jeanne Unemori Skog and Teena M. Rasmussen of Skog Rasmussen LLC, also participated in the video conference. Skog Rasmussen, LLC is a company which serves as a community outreach liaison for economic development on Maui.
This proposed photovoltaic project for Kama’ole should not be confused with the Paeahu photovoltaic project which is slated for the top of the Maui Meadows subdivision, on land belonging to Ulupalakua Ranch.
The Kama’ole Solar presentation is the Kihei community’s second proposed photovoltaic project site. It is located on Haleakala Ranch land, mauka of Pi’ilani Highway. The first was the South Maui Renewable Resources project by Kenyon Energy, established in 2018.
Below is a partial, aerial map of Kihei, with the Kama’ole Solar project outlined:
“The Tax Map Key (TMK) for the project is (2)2-2-002:001 as well as a portion of TMK (2)2-2-002:050. The project will interconnect to the circuit associated with the Kealahou-Anwahi line.” (sbenergy.com).
A question and answer session followed the Kama’ole Solar presentation.
Q: Has SB Energy constructed other PV projects?
A: Yes, in the company’s portfolio is a total of 630 MW projects already in Japan, a wind farm in Mongolia, and PV farm(s) in India.
Q: What is the current zoning of the proposed site?
A: The proposed site is zoned Agricultural “E” (Hawai’i allows development on class “E” ag lands because the land is less productive.) The site is 320 total acres situated at 400 feet above sea level. Projected completion date is April 30, 2023.
Q: For how long is the Independent Power Producer (IPP) agreement with Hawaiian Electric?
A: 25 years. Total specifications of the project are 40 MW total output with 160 MWh of backup battery storage (specified by Hawaiian Electric.)
Q: Where will the project’s access road be located?
A: From Pi’ilani highway.
Q: How close is the project to Hawaiian Electric’s (HECO) existing Kealahou-Auwahi transmission line?
A: The current transmission line runs through the proposed site.
Q: Will digital simulations such as views of the project from West Maui, what the traffic flow near the project from homes look like, etc., be provided?
A: Yes, the simulations will be developed for public distribution as important project visual aids for the South Maui community.
Q: After 25 years, if the project is decommissioned, will the PV panels be recycled?
A: Yes, also the minerals from the panels can be extracted for recycling. The project’s infrastructure would be dismantled, and the land restored to its original state.
Q: What is the next step for our community?
A: A Kama’ole Solar virtual Open House will be held on July 14, 2020 from 5:30-7:00 pm. More details will follow.
Please register in advance for the virtual open house for the Maui Community on July 14th. SB Energy reports that “the Kamaole Solar team will be describing details about the project, the site maps, the planned studies, the project timeline, and the project’s benefits to the community” (sbenergy.com).
If you are an existing KCA member, please remember to renew and encourage others to become an individual or corporate member of KCA to receive important updates about this project from Go Kihei.org.