Hawaiian Homes Commission Approves Right of Entry for Proposed Solar Project

Posted on Jul 11, 2019 in Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, Hawaiian Homes Commission, News Releases, Slider
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DEPARTMENT OF HAWAIIAN HOME LANDS 
WILLIAM J. AILA, JR CHAIRMAN – HAWAIIAN HOMES COMMISSION 
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 11, 2019

HAWAIIAN HOMES COMMISSION APPROVES RIGHT OF ENTRY FOR PROPOSED SOLAR PROJECT

(KAPOLEI, HI) – On Tuesday, July 9, the Hawaiian Homes Commission (HHC) approved the issuance of a Right-of-Entry permit and gave conditional approval for a General Lease to be issued to Innergex Renewables USA, LLC for up to 147 acres across two parcels in Kalaeloa, Oʻahu. Both parcels were formerly held by the U.S. Navy and were brought into the Department of Hawaiian Home Land’s (DHHL) inventory through the Hawaiian Home Lands Recovery Act, passed by Congress in 1995. DHHL held a Beneficiary Consultation meeting earlier this year with lessees and applicants from the Kapolei area to gather feedback on the proposed project.

“These parcels have no water or sewage infrastructure and have a history of sinkholes occurring in several areas,” said HHC Chairman William J. Ailā, Jr. “There are also historical revetments and World War II era bunkers which are subject to review by the Hawaiʻi State Historic Preservation Division. These issues led the Commission to designate the parcels as not required for homesteading, pursuant to Section 204 of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act and to use the land for revenue generating purposes.”

The Right-of-Entry permit will allow Innergex Renewables USA, LLC to conduct technical studies and due diligence in preparation for an anticipated Request For Proposal from Hawaiian Electric (HECO) who will be seeking to purchase electricity from a renewable energy provider. If selected by HECO, Innergex would then complete an Environmental Assessment.

“The proposed project fulfills Objective 2 of HHC’s 2009 Hoʻomaluō Energy Policy, which instructs the Department to pursue the leasing of lands identified as suitable for renewable energy projects,” Ailā said. DHHL’s 2014 Island Plan noted that these Kalaeloa parcels have desirable conditions for solar energy generation.  The lease revenue from these lands are intended to assist in the creation of more homestead lots for beneficiaries on the waiting list.”

In February, DHHL began offering the first of 395 homestead lots on schedule to be awarded in 2019, and the Department has over 1,300 lots in its production pipeline that are anticipated to be completed over the next five years. It is DHHL’s policy that revenues derived off of available lands go directly into the creation of lots for those on its waiting list.

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ABOUT THE DEPARTMENT OF HAWAIIAN HOME LANDS: The Department of Hawaiian Home Lands carries out Prince Jonah Kūhiō Kalanianaʻole’s vision of rehabilitating native Hawaiians by returning them to the land. Established by U.S. Congress in 1921, with the passage of the Hawaiian Homes Commission Act, the Hawaiian homesteading program run by DHHL includes management of over 200,000 acres of land statewide with the specific purpose of developing and delivering homesteading opportunities for native Hawaiians.  

Media Contact:
Cedric Duarte
Information & Community Relations Officer
Department of Hawaiian Home Lands
808-342-0873
[email protected]