Ameresco to Build Biofuel Facility on Maui

Ameresco, Inc. announced its award from Hawaiian Electric Company for the proposed ‘Ūkiu Energy 40-megawatt (MW) renewable energy site in Maui. This innovative facility will add critical grid reliability to the island and move Hawaii closer to its clean energy goals, including the state’s commitment to achieving 100% renewable electricity and carbon neutrality by 2045.
Ameresco to Build Biofuel Facility on Maui
Image by Bettina Nørgaard from Pixabay

The proposed facility will include a biofuel-powered generator with six dual-fuel engines. It will offer firm renewable energy and provide a highly flexible capacity resource. This facility will also maintain power quality, enhance grid reliability, and allow for the additional integration of intermittent renewable resources.

In the event of a power outage, it will have the ability to be brought online, in black start mode, to help repower the grid. Additionally, the fast, flexible engines will enable the current fossil fuel generators to turn down their idling engines, supporting decarbonization efforts. 

In support of the ‘Ūkiu Energy facility, Ameresco is steadfast in its commitment to identifying meaningful ways to benefit the local community. Ameresco looks forward to engaging with the community to identify and support programs that benefit the local region throughout the life of the facility.

“We are honored to play a pivotal role in Hawaii’s journey toward a sustainable and resilient energy future,” said Nicole Bulgarino, Executive Vice President of Ameresco. “The ‘Ūkiu Energy site will continue to reduce Maui’s dependence on fossil fuels and pave a pathway that not only benefits our environment as a whole, but also enriches the island’s local communities.”

The facility is part of Hawaiian Electric Company’s latest phase of clean energy procurements aimed at reducing Hawaii’s dependence on imported oil for power generation. After the ‘Ūkiu Energy contract is finalized, it will be submitted to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for review and approval. Once approved, it will be built, owned, and operated by Ameresco, and is designed to interconnect to the Maui electrical grid at the new Hawaiian Electric Waena substation.

‘Ūkiu Energy is Ameresco’s fourth award with Hawaiian Electric, building on the success of Kūpono Solar, a 42MW solar and 42MW/168MWh battery storage facility, on Oahu expected to come online in Q2 2024, Pu`uloa Energy, a 99MW firm renewable generation facility, on Oahu expected online in 2027, and Pu`uloa Solar, a 6MW solar and 6MW/30MWh battery storage facility, on Oahu expected online in 2026. ‘Ūkiu Energy, Pu`uloa Energy and Pu`uloa Solar remain subject to PUC approval.

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