A Responsible Steward

The proposed Kūpono Solar project will be in compliance with all applicable permitting processes. As the long-term owner and operator of the project, Bright Canyon Energy is committed to serving as a good steward of the environment and community.

All project facilities would be located on land leased from the Navy in accordance with its policies and procedures. Because the property is owned by the Navy, the proposed facilities would be subject to federal requirements and any other applicable requirements.

hikers on moanalua valley trail oahu hawaii

City Zoning and Land Use Classification

The proposed project is sited on lands that the State designates as agriculture and urban on federal lands. It is zoned F-1 (military and federal), AG-2 (general agriculture) and R5 (residential).

City & County of Honolulu Zoning: F-1 (military and federal), AG-2 (general agriculture), R-5 (residential)

State Land Use Designation: Agriculture, Urban on federal land

Discretionary and Non-Discretionary Land Use, Environmental and Construction Permits and Approvals

Given the proposed project is located on federal land, these permitting requirements will be addressed through the federal permitting process.

Permits and Approvals

The proposed project will be designed in compliance with permitting requirements, including:

  • NEPA
  • The Clean Air Act
  • The Clean Water Act
  • Endangered Species Act
  • The National Historic Preservation Act
  • Hawaiʻi Coastal Zone Management Program
  • Department of Defense Explosive Safety Board
Permit or Consultation Agency/Stakeholders
National Environmental Policy Act – EA Supplement Department of the Navy
National Historic Preservation Act Section 106 Consultation State of Hawai‘i Historic Preservation Officer
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Permit State Department of Health (DOH) Clean Water Branch
Clean Water Act Section 404 (Nationwide Permit) and Section 401 (Water Quality Certification); likely not required but to be confirmed based on site-specific surveys U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, DOH Clean Water Branch
Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) De minimis acknowledgment Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Program, State of Hawai‘i
Explosives Safety – Quantity Distance Review Department of Defense Explosives Safety Board

Preliminary Assessment

Given the scope of the project, it would not result in an incremental change to land use patterns or redevelopment activities. Impacts to biological resources or cultural resources are not anticipated, as no sensitive resources are expected to be present within the proposed project area.

Short-term construction impacts include those related to increased dust, erosion and noise, which will have mitigation efforts. The related actions in the project vicinity are expected to result in similar types of impacts, with similar mitigation work. It is expected that these temporary construction-related impacts will not create substantial adverse impacts.

The proposed project would not lead to secondary or indirect changes to land use and development on O‘ahu as renewable energy is generally a substitute for energy that would otherwise be generated through other means, such as fossil fuels.

Aerial View of Pearl Harbour

Cultural Resource Impacts

ASM Affiliates conducted background research with respect to the proposed development of energy facilities within these Navy lands in Honouliuli Ahupua‘a, ‘Ewa District. This research included an archival review of existing historic preservation reports and historical maps, as well as a review of traditional cultural information relative to the current study area. Further activities will be conducted to include field inspections and consultation interviews.

Extensive modern-day studies have been conducted in the area, beginning in 1977 through 2017, as parts of larger study areas associated with both former U.S. Naval activities and an earlier proposed solar development project. The collective results of these studies report that the bulk, but not all, of the current proposed project area has been investigated for the presence of archaeological sites.

The proposed site underwent an archaeological study in 2015, including surface survey and subsurface testing. No traditional Hawaiian sites were identified. It was concluded that the extensive use of the land during historic and modern times destroyed any earlier sites that may have been present. Six Historic Period sites were discovered and recorded, but none were evaluated as significant.