Hawaiian Electric, U.S. Army announce completion of Schofield Generating Station

New power plant will strengthen Oahu grid, pave way for more renewables

Release Date: 5/31/2018

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HONOLULU, May 31, 2018 - The U.S. Army and Hawaiian Electric Company today held a dedication for the new Schofield Generating Station, a flexible and efficient new power generation facility that will help make Oahu’s electric grid more resilient, reliable and renewable-ready.

The 50-megawatt (MW) facility is on eight acres at Schofield Barracks that the Army is leasing to Hawaiian Electric. It will be the only power plant on Oahu that is located inland, immune from the potential impacts of storms, tsunami and rising sea level. Sited on a secure Army base, the facility can be a key component of recovery in the event of an emergency that affects the power grid.

“This partnership between the Army and Hawaiian Electric is a model for providing energy security for our military bases. It’s truly a win-win, and we are proud to have played a part in this project,” said Alan Oshima, Hawaiian Electric president and CEO. “Situated away from the shoreline, this facility features quick-starting generators that will benefit all of our customers by producing power when sun and wind sources fluctuate during the day.”

The Schofield facility will run on a combination of biofuels and conventional fuels and will feed into the island’s electric grid and serve all customers on Oahu. In the event of an emergency, it will be able to directly feed Army facilities in Central Oahu, if necessary, to provide reliable power to Schofield Barracks, Wheeler Army Airfield, and Field Station Kunia.

“This power generation plant provides increased energy resilience and diversity to the U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii and the Oahu electrical grid,” said Jordan Gillis, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Army Installations, Energy and Environment. “Energy resilience enables Army readiness and this project is a great example of how the Army can sustain critical missions in the event of a major disruption in supply.”

The facility, owned and operated by Hawaiian Electric, is the first on the island to use flexible and efficient generators that will complement increasing levels of solar and wind power on the Oahu grid. The generators will be capable of quickly starting up, shutting down, or changing their output in response to sudden changes in solar and wind energy resources, which provide varying levels of energy depending on weather, time of day, cloud cover, and other factors.

“This biodiesel power plant represents unprecedented public and private collaboration, cooperation, and partnership between the Army and a private utility company,” said Col. Stephen Dawson, commander, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii. "A power plant that runs on fuel made from food waste will contribute to the Army’s energy resilience, security and training in support of readiness and national security in the Pacific.

“I’m proud of the efforts of the Hawaiian Electric Company and the U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii to achieve this unrivaled success,” he added.

Schofield Generating Station is projected to reduce oil use by about 26,000 barrels annually. Hawaiian Electric’s partnership with the Army saved customers $4.3 million, as compared to the cost of building the facility off base.

The Hawaiian Electric Companies are national leaders in the integration of renewable energy on their island grids, using renewables to generate nearly 27 percent of their electricity in 2017.

Media Contacts:
Hawaiian Electric Company
Shannon Tangonan; 808.351.4978;
shannon.putnam@hawaiianelectric.com

U.S. Army Hawaii
Stefanie Gutierrez; 808-656-3160;
stefanie.a.gutierrez.civ@mail.mil