Hawaiian Electric seeks 900 MW of renewable energy projects
Energize Weekly, September 4, 2019
The Hawaiian Electric Company has issued a call for more than 900 megawatts (MW) of renewable generation projects – one of the largest procurements ever undertaken by a U.S. utility, the company said.
The bid proposal calls for 594 MW of solar for Oahu, 135 MW for Maui and up to 203 MW for Hawaii Island. The plan to solicit projects was approved by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC).
For Oahu, new projects will replace a 180-MW, coal-fired AES Hawaii plant, which is set to close by September 2022. The plant is largest single generator on Oahu, accounting for 16 percent of peak demand.
The generation and storage on Maui are needed for the planned retirement of the Kahului Power Plant by the end of 2024.
On Hawaii Island, additional renewable generation is sought even if the Puna Geothermal Venture plant returns to service and the Hu Honua biomass plant comes online as planned, the company said.
Hawaiian Electric’s goal is to have 100 percent renewable electricity generation by 2045. In January, the company obtained contracts for seven solar-plus-storage projects with about 262 MW of solar generation and 1,048 megawatt-hours (MWh) of storage.
“Hawaiian Electric has made huge strides toward our renewable energy goals and will end this year achieving a renewable generation portfolio of 30 percent,” Alan Oshima, president and CEO of Hawaiian Electric, said in a statement. “This effort is a big step in accelerating the transition from fossil fuels to locally-sourced clean energy resources.”
In the new round of project options, in addition to variable renewable energy generation, with or without storage, will be standalone storage and grid services that aid operators in managing the electric grid.
Hawaiian Electric is looking for grid services, equal to 4 MW to 119 MW, such as fast frequency response and capacity for Oahu, Maui and Hawaii islands.
A final request for proposals is expected to be issued later this year for the equivalent of 4 MW of solar or 3.6 MW of small wind for Molokai, twinned with energy storage, and an equivalent up to 9.5 MW of solar paired with energy storage for Lanai, pending approval by the PUC.
“We’ve attempted to develop a competitive bidding plan that addresses concerns of all stakeholders while maintaining a fair process to reach our aggressive clean energy goals,” said Jim Alberts, Hawaiian Electric senior vice president for business development and strategic planning.