DHHL NEWS RELEASE: DHHL ISSUES LIMITED RIGHT OF ENTRY FOR POTENTIAL SOLAR PROJECT

Posted on Apr 7, 2021 in Latest News, Newsroom

Nānākuli, Oʻahu – The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands (DHHL) has issued a Limited Right of Entry permit to an area in Nānākuli, Oʻahu for the International Center for Appropriate and Sustainable Energy (ICAST) to conduct ground and drone survey work from April 12 through April 16, 2021. A Limited Right of Entry Permit grants temporary access to DHHL property for a period of no more than 30 days.

The survey work follows a March 2021 selection of two renewable energy developers to advance in the process to lease DHHL’s revenue-generating parcels for proposed solar and storage projects on Oʻahu and Hawaiʻi Island.

Under the Limited Right of Entry permit, ICAST will conduct preliminary due diligence and improve project drawings in advance of the second round of Beneficiary Consultations on the project.

ICAST is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with a history of designing and launching programs that impact communities by delivering economic, environmental, and social benefits. The company has partnered with local utilities and governments to deliver clean energy, affordable housing, and workforce training programs nationally.

Currently, ICAST is developing solar farms for Low-to-Moderate Income (LMI) communities nationally and, if successful, the project in Nānākuli would be their first LMI project in Hawaiʻi. LMI projects are designed to serve subscribers who are at or below 80 percent of the Area Median Income. Qualified subscribers would not be charged a subscription fee, a common component of other community solar initiatives.

“In our initial Beneficiary Consultation, we heard several times about the desire for lower electric bills,” said Hawaiian Homes Commission Chair William J. Ailā, Jr. “If ICAST acquires approval from the Hawaiian Homes Commission and is successful in the solicitation process with Hawaiian Electric, this project could provide direct savings on monthly electric bills for qualified beneficiaries on Oʻahu.”

The second Beneficiary Consultation for this project is expected to be held in May, followed by two public hearings with the Hawaiian Homes Commission (HHC).

As with all DHHL land dispositions, the Commission will ultimately be the decision-making body on whether a long-term lease is issued. HHC will consider beneficiary input, along with potential benefits to homestead and Waiting List beneficiaries and the overall fiduciary impact the project may have on the trust.

Residents in the area should anticipate visible drone surveying over Nānākuli Ranch, as well as ground surveyors between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on the scheduled days.

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