Oahu and the Big Island are in line to receive new renewable facilities and the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) has chosen the community solar developers to spearhead the projects. In a recent announcement, DHHL stated it awarded a lease for parcels of land on the two islands to Nexamp Solar, LLC., and the International Center for Appropriate and Sustainable Energy.
DHHL chose the two community solar developers from a pool of eight applicants. The applications were a general lease for parcels planned for clean energy facilities. DHHL’s Hoomaluo energy policy from 2009 had a hand in determining the appropriate parcels for the new projects. Though there has been no confirmation as to whether the projects will be community solar installations or not, but Nexamp is known on the mainland for its sizable portfolio of cost-saving energy options.
Community solar is a relatively new concept in the United States, but it’s quite fresh for the people of Hawaii. The first project was approved by Hawaiian Electric Company in September 2019. These two community solar developers will likely continue the efforts of the state to switch to clean, renewable energy. Hawaii is well-known for its push for sustainability, and the reduction of carbon emissions is a considerable step.
Should Nexamp and the International Center for Appropriate and Sustainable Energy move forward with community solar projects, they will generate cost-saving options for homeowners across Oahu and the Big Island. Through these renewable energy facilities, the community solar developers will allow subscriptions. In exchange for subscribing to a unit of energy, homeowners and small businesses receive a monthly credit on their utility bills.
Currently, there is no timeline set for the community solar developers to take action on the lease awarded by DHHL. Hawaii only recently reopened parts of its tourism in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, which may delay development.