Connecting Solar PV from Waipio Peninsula to Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam
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Client: NAVFAC Pacific
Location: Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam

POWER is providing engineering design and construction support for an 11 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) power generating station on Oahu, Hawaii. The project is located at  U.S. Naval Joint Base Pearl Harbor‐Hickam (JBPHH). Energy generated by the project will be sold to the United States Government acting through  Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC) Pacific. The Owner/Operator is NextEra Energy Resources, LLC.

This interdisciplinary project required a team of professionals with specialized expertise in power system studies, underground distribution design, horizontal directional drilling, and substation design. During the study phase of the project, simulation and analysis of NAVFAC’s medium voltage network was performed to assess the impacts of interconnecting the new generating station. The decision was made that a direct transfer trip scheme would be required to allow the local electric utility (HECO) to disconnect the PV generating station from the network in the event of a fault. Substation design included upgrades and modifications to existing infrastructure (breakers, protection and control, and communications) in NAVFAC’s medium voltage system to accept feeders from the PV generating station and design of a complete new switchyard for the PV generating facility to be installed on a Greenfield site adjacent to the PV array. Elements of the underground distribution design included 8,600 ft. of direct buried medium voltage cable and a horizontal direction drill (HDD) under a Pearl Harbor, approximately 1,900 feet in length and 120’ below the surface.

Unique challenges associated with this project included design for Oahu’s tropical marine environment, historical preservation of JBPHH sites, and design and coordination of the HDD to avoid interruption of operations at Pearl Harbor.

The operational date for the project is December 2016.