Hawaiian Electric seeking proposals for renewable energy projects on Maui, O’ahu : Maui Now

Hawaiian Electric is seeking proposals for firm renewable energy on Maui and O’ahu. Illustration: Hawaiian Electric

Hawaiian Electric is seeking proposals for renewable energy projects on Maui and Oʻahu during a new round of clean energy procurement, which for the first time includes requests to develop firm renewable capacity on the two islands. 

Firm renewable energy differs from intermittent resources such as solar and wind because it is available at all times. The new  procurements seek to broaden the future generation mix to ensure the two islands have a  diverse portfolio of generation resources.

These RFPs are companions to the Hawai‘i Island RFP that opened on Nov. 21, 2022. 

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The new requests for proposals, developed with guidance from the Public Utilities  Commission, were published on Hawaiian Electric’s Competitive Bidding Website. Hawaiian Electric will evaluate the proposals to determine a final award group from which to begin contract negotiations. 

“This is an opportunity to significantly boost the share of renewable energy on our grids and  help Hawai‘i’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions,” said Rebecca Dayhuff Matsushima, vice  president of resource procurement for Hawaiian Electric. “Notably, the RFPs include firm  renewable generation, which will add critical reliability to our grids as we continue to retire oil fired generators.” 

Hawaiian Electric is seeking proposals for a variety of intermittent and firm renewable energy  and capacity resources on Maui an Oʻahu that include wind, solar,  geothermal, biomass and biofuels. Standalone energy storage proposals also will be accepted. 

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For Maui, the company is seeking at least 425 GWh annually of variable renewable  dispatchable energy and at least 40 MW of renewable firm capacity to be in service by 2027. 

Dispatchable means the company controls when the resource is used.

For Oʻahu, Hawaiian Electric is seeking at least 965 gigawatt hours annually of variable  renewable dispatchable energy to be in service by 2027. The company is also seeking 300 to 500 megawatts of  renewable firm capacity to be in service by 2029, and an additional 200 MW of renewable firm  capacity to be in service by 2033.  

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In 2018, Hawaiian Electric began the first phase of Hawai‘i’s largest procurement effort for  renewable energy resources to meet the state’s 100% renewable portfolio standard  requirement. The second phase of procurement started in 2019 and was among the largest  single renewable energy procurements undertaken by a US utility.  

From those first two phases of RFPs, nearly 450 megawatts and roughly 1.7 gigawatt hours per year of energy storage are in development on Maui and Oʻahu and expected to be in service by  2024, with 75 megawatts and 300 megawatt hours per year of energy storage in commercial operation. 

This third stage of renewable energy procurement is open to bids from energy developers  locally and globally. The first projects are expected to come online no later than the end of 2027. 

Hawaiian Electric is asking developers to submit their proposals to achieve the earliest  commercial operations date to achieve urgent reliability needs, especially for the firm renewable capacity. The proposed timeline for proposals is: 

Event  Date
Issue RFP  January 20, 2023
Hawaiian Electric and Affiliate Proposal Due  Date April 19, 2023
IPP Proposal Due Date  April 20, 2023
Selection of Priority List  July 6, 2023
Hawaiian Electric and Affiliate BAFOs Due  July 13, 2023
IPP BAFOs Due  July 14, 2023
Selection of Final Award Group  October 27, 2023
IRS and Contract Negotiations Begin  November 3, 2023

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