Nexamp takes very seriously the responsibility to be a good community partner, especially in Hawaii. The Nexamp team has thoroughly reviewed all the community meetings that Hawaiian Electric and the PUC have hosted to shape the Shared Solar Program. We have heard important concerns about land use, equity, and community engagement. We have considered these concerns in selecting our project site. We believe that the lessons we’ve learned across islands and projects are extremely valuable and applicable. The best community engagement will bring a combined perspective of the immediate community as well as broad concerns around the state.
A cleaner, more resilient grid – the project will help the island of O’ahu reduce dependence on expensive and volatile foreign oil and help move Hawai’i closer to the goal of being 100% renewable by 2045. In addition, the energy storage component of the project will increase the reliability of utility service by dispatching renewable generation when it is most needed and providing black start capability when the grid goes down.
•Savings for Subscribers: This project will directly benefit the community by allowing community members to enroll in the project and thereby save money on their electric bills. Many homes, and especially renters, cannot support rooftop solar panels. With the shared solar model, the community that hosts the project is the same community that benefits from the project. •Supporting local business – Nexamp is eager to develop business relationships with potential anchor subscribers and engage with local farmers to incorporate sheep and other agricultural uses around the project.
•Local Labor Commitment: Nexamp is committed to using local labor at prevailing wages for construction and ongoing maintenance whenever possible. Nexamp has already established relationships with local contractors to make this commitment a reality.
•A long-term partner – At Nexamp, we own and operate all of our solar projects and manage every stage of the process from project development to design and construction, through financing, operations, and maintenance. Nexamp also has more than 30,000 community solar customers, so we are experts in communicating with customers and creating a smooth customer experience.
Nexamp is responsible for all government permits and approvals, public hearings, and other opportunities for public comment. This information will help the community to understand the level of public scrutiny and participation that might occur for the Project and the opportunities to provide public comments.
The development process for the project includes many different steps. As a part of the process, Nexamp is committed to holding regular community meetings and providing regular updates on the project website.
Nexamp is committed to identifying communities that may be affected by the project. We know that construction has the potential to be disruptive to neighbors, and we recognize that certain sites can have special cultural significance. In order to be good community partners, our outreach plan includes community meetings to hear concerns so that we can form mitigation plans. In addition, we will be meeting with any immediate project neighbors in order to coordinate the most low-impact construction process possible. We are working with a consultant to ensure that we have a full understanding of any culturally significant aspects of the land and to modify our design as needed to eliminate any negative impacts. As we conduct community outreach we will continuously and transparently report what we learn.
Nexamp is committed to using local labor at prevailing wages for construction and ongoing maintenance whenever possible. Nexamp has already established relationships with local contractors to make this commitment a reality.
Direct Contact: For more information, Ethan Gyles, VP of Channel Diligence, (401) 578-3088, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nexamp is committed to continuous and transparent communication with the community throughout the project development process and beyond. We are committed to the following outreach activities to ensure project success:
- Information sessions with Nexamp representatives virtually or in a public space.
- Project briefings with stakeholders in advance of community meetings.
- Media outreach and advertising to raise community awareness of any public meeting.
- Media advisories are to be issued to media and organizations a minimum of 30 days prior to a public meeting.
- Advertisements are to be placed in area community publications.
- Advertisements to be placed on Nexamp social media outlets: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter | LinkedIn | News
- Public comments in support and in opposition to the proposed project will be posted on Nexamp’s website, compiled, and filed verbatim with the Public Utilities Commission.
- Inform neighboring communities and stakeholders to provide community members with timely information during ALL phases of the project including, but not limited to the Power Purchase Agreement negotiation period, the permitting process periods, and throughout construction.
Initial Public Community Outreach Meeting:
- Virtual meeting upon selection of the final award.
- Hosted by Nexamp’s Hawaii local representative.
- About Nexamp
- Community Solar 101
- Community and Project Benefits of shared-solar
- What makes community solar with Nexamp different
- Project description: preliminary site layout, permitting and construction schedules, educational and job training opportunities, community economic and environmental benefits.
- Community Feedback, concerns, questions
Communication Frequency and Format:
- Initial Public Community Outreach Meeting: Nexamp will do so prior to executed agreement with the utility.
- Quarterly Community Outreach Meetings: Nexamp will provide project updates and gather community feedback as the project progresses.
- Pre-Construction Meeting: Nexamp Project Manager and Site Supervisor will be on hand to describe the construction schedule, sequencing of operations, and Nexamp’s mitigation plans to minimize any potential noise, disruption, or traffic.
- Website: Nexamp will create a digital outreach platform that all community members can view for project updates. Beginning upon award through the lifecycle of the project, Nexamp will provide community updates on our website documenting daily progress and highlighting any major changes.
In addition to reviewing publicly available information from community meetings hosted by Hawaiian Electric and the PUC, Nexamp has engaged in conversations with community members and stakeholders. We have found that the community is generally supportive of this project, though awareness and understanding of the shared solar program are low. Nexamp takes community feedback seriously and has eliminated other projects from its portfolio in response to negative community feedback. While it is not directly connected to this project, we are particularly proud of our engagement with DHHL, which has provided a letter of support for the project. In our many rounds of meetings with DHHL, they have indicated an interest in supporting enrollment in projects across the state, which we believe will benefit the project.
Nexamp has been proactive in reaching out to community leaders across the state as well as leaders and organizations within the immediate community of the proposed project site. We will continue to engage the community throughout the project life cycle. Upon award selection, we will invite residents and community leaders to be involved in the conversation surrounding community solar. Through robust community input and active listening, Nexamp will be able to develop the best possible project that suits the community’s needs.
Community solar brings power to the people. We’re aimed at democratizing clean energy and have eliminated credit checks, long-term contracts, and up-front costs to do so, ensuring our projects are always open to all. With community solar programs spreading across the country, renters, low-and-moderate-income individuals, and homeowners alike are now able to harness the sun’s power and place its benefits directly in their pockets.
The output and production of community solar farms or gardens are also generally more efficient than individually owned panels. Solar farms/gardens are typically located on wide swaths of land, free from obstructions. These ideal conditions mean the panels can receive the maximum amount of sunlight more often.
Community solar farms/gardens also provide greater flexibility to subscribers as they’re off-site and centralized. People can still benefit from them when moving to a new house, as long as it’s on the same island within the same utility’s service coverage.
Solar energy is taking over, whether oil kings like it or not. It’s far cheaper to produce, saves you money each month, and expedites U.S. energy independence. Don’t wait for clean power to come to you. Bring light to your community and become a beacon of hope for our world. The future is only ours if we support it.
Supports the Local Economy by giving a much-needed break to Low to Moderate Income Subscribers to help save on Hawai’i’s high energy costs. Priority subscriptions will be given to residents who live in the community where the project is located.
Low-To-Moderate Income Households
The project will be dedicated to residential LMI Subscribers. A minimum of 60% of the Project’s capacity shall be reserved for residential LMI Customers.
Up to 40% of the Project’s capacity may be allocated to Non-Profit Entities, (LMI Anchor Tenants)
Supports Local Jobs:
LOCAL LABOR COMMITMENT - Nexamp is committed to using local labor at the prevailing wage for construction and ongoing maintenance whenever possible. Nexamp has already established relationships with local contractors to make this commitment a reality.
Clean Energy for our Keiki:
Leaving future generations, a cleaner, more resilient grid. The renewable energy facility will replace fossil fuel generation and protect the area from the greenhouse effect and sea level rise.
Nexamp’s CBRE team has thoroughly reviewed the community comments collected at the Community Meetings hosted by the PUC. At Nexamp, the communities we serve are core to our company objective, and ensuring community satisfaction is a top priority. Towards this goal, the Project team began proactively engaging the North Shore Neighborhood Board (NSNB) back in 2020. The primary feedback received was the neighborhood’s concern for protecting agricultural land and ensuring that solar energy doesn’t displace land that could otherwise be used in meeting the island’s needs for local food sources.
With that feedback in mind, the Project team put together a detailed presentation showing how the project would complement the existing Villa Rose egg farm as a supplemental use, and how the Project itself could still achieve a dual purpose of agriculture and clean energy within the same footprint by utilizing sheep for grazing. Through that outreach, the Project team educated the Agricultural Committee about biosecurity measures employed at the egg facility to ensure the safety of the eggs produced which limit agricultural uses on the remainder of the property. Those limitations exclude any agricultural uses that would otherwise require pesticides/herbicides, produce edible crops (which can attract other birds, mongooses, or rats), or are incompatible with R-2 recycled water. As a result, the land is incompatible with food crops but can be used for grazing. By incorporating sheep into the operations and maintenance plan for the site, the team showed show the Project can supplement O’ahu Grazers' existing flock and increase the supply of lambs to Hawai’i Meats, thus improving the availability of locally raised meat on the island. Nexamp plans to incorporate the feedback from the NSNB Agricultural Committee discussions in our downstream outreach following Final Award and will seek further input from the community at large.
Based on the feedback received to date, it is the team's opinion that the Project is well sited, and that the community will be generally in favor of the project so long as its development and construction are conducted responsibly and respectfully. Building Trust, One Review at a Time
Thousands of Nexamp community solar customers are supporting renewable power in their towns. We make it easy for anyone to tap into clean energy and aim to share that opportunity with individuals and businesses alike, regardless of background.
Nexamp believes that everyone should have access to reliable power. Our customer-centric contracts have no long-term commitments, no penalties, and no FICO score requirements.