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Hawaii and Florida Up Solar Push

The state of Hawaii has taken great steps towards a goal of 70% sustainable energy by 2030. This takes the form of a 28 megawatt solar farm with 100 MWh of battery storage. Hawaii faces unique challenges in providing utilities to its citizens, and this has caused the state to have some of the highest utility prices in the Union. However, with this new farm completed and with more commitments to solar power on the horizon, The Aloha State is taking great strides towards owning its power.
“Now a new 28 megawatt solar power plant with 100 MWh of battery storage has been completed on the Garden Isle, bring it halfway toward its goal of getting 70% of its electricity from zero emissions solar power by 2030. ‘We’ve passed the 50 yard line and the end zone is in sight,’ KIUC CEO David Bissell told Hawaii News Now. ‘Now that the Lawai project is online, as much as 40 percent of our evening peak power will be supplied by stored solar energy. I think it’s safe to say this is a unique achievement in the nation and possibly the world.’
Under the terms of a new power purchase agreement with AES DE which owns the solar facility, KIUC will pay 11 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity over the next 25 years. The PPA with Tesla last year set the price at 13.9 cents per kilowatt-hour. When the Tesla facility came online, David Ige, governor of Hawaii, said, “As a state, we know how to generate power. For us, the challenge has been storing that power to use at night. Now we can do that.”
Recently, the state of Florida has announced that its ~75 megawatt Hamilton solar plant, located right at the Florida-Georgia border, is operational. In addition, they declared plans for a new plant to begin construction in 2019. This new solar farm will have a similar capacity as the Hamilton one, and together the two will prevent significant amounts of carbon from entering the atmosphere.
“In 2019, construction will begin on the Columbia solar power plant in Fort White, Fla. Like the Hamilton facility, it will also generate 74.9 MW of electricity. It is expected to be online in March of next year. Together, the two solar power plants will remove 645 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions in Florida during their first year of commercial operation. That’s the equivalent of taking 63,000 passenger cars off the road the company says.
The company says, ‘The Hamilton Solar Power Plant will be a part of the DEF’s new Shared Solar Program, providing customers with the opportunity to support the development of clean energy and reduce their environmental footprint. The Shared Solar program makes it possible for everyone to participate in solar energy without installation on their property.
“Customers can subscribe to blocks of clean energy coming from the Hamilton Solar Power Plant and three other participating solar power plants in Taylor, Suwannee and Osceola counties. Residential, commercial and industrial customers are eligible to participate.’”
It’s very exciting to see more and more states embrace the Green Revolution, and take control of their energy. A fun fact about Sungrade, which many of our customers know well, is many of our sales reps originally hail from Florida. 
We wish the great states of Hawaii and Florida, as well as any other undertaking similar initiatives, the best of luck going forward!

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