Producing Clean Energy

Questions & Answers

We believe that one of the main drivers of success of the competitive bidding process is to ensure transparency in that process. We believe that seeking the input of stakeholders and working collaboratively with such stakeholders to refine and improve the process will lead to successful RFPs.

We hope that the following answers to stakeholder questions will be helpful to potential Proposers and others interested in our RFPs. In order to ensure that information provided by the Companies is shared fairly with all Proposers, we are utilizing this page as a repository for questions and answers. While we aim to provide answers to all questions asked, it may not be feasible to respond directly to each question or comment submitted. Instead, similar questions may be consolidated so as to provide more helpful information. Questions specific to a particular project that might give a competitive advantage or contain confidential information may not be answered here or may be reframed in such a way as to be made available to the general public. Questions not relevant to these RFPs or questions received late in the process which do not allow for the Companies to provide an adequate answer may also not be answered here.


Update (December 4, 2017)

  • Will the Hawaiian Electric Companies make transcripts available for the various webinars given that transcripts of what was said during the webinars would help facilitate understanding of the screening criteria, threshold requirements, and other statements provided in the webinars?
  • Recordings of the webinar conferences are posted on this website. The Companies have not prepared transcripts of these conferences, but stakeholders are free to do so. If there are specific questions regarding topics discussed in those conferences, responses will be posted on this Q&A page. Please note that as stated in Section 3.3 of the draft RFPs, "in the event a conflict exists between any oral and post-conference written response, the post-conference written response shall control."

Update (November 8, 2017)

  • Please post Word versions of all RFP documents.
  • We welcome comments on all of the RFP documents filed with the PUC on October 23, 2017. Regarding a request for Word versions of the RFP Appendices, with the exception of Appendix C (Model PPA) and Appendix K (Form of Ground Lease), the Hawaiian Electric Companies will not be providing the requested Word documents at this time as they are not intended to be redlined by prospective Proposers. Proposers, however, will have an opportunity to redline the Ground Lease in their proposals. Accordingly, as with the PPA, we believe it would be appropriate to distribute a Word version of the Ground Lease, which is publicly available on our website. As for the other appendices, Proposers do not have the ability to propose edits to these other documents. For example, in responding to the RFP, a Proposer could not redline the response package (Appendix B), the Companies' Code of Conduct Procedures Manual (Appendix D), interconnection requirements, or selection criteria (Appendix L). Similarly, Appendix J is a PUC approved tariff rule, and cannot be changed by the Proposer or even the Companies. Interested parties are still welcome to provide comments to these documents which we will review along with all other stakeholder comments. We look forward to working with all stakeholders to further improve and refine our RFPs and the competitive bidding process.


Update (December 4, 2017)

  • Please confirm whether the Companies "may" limit one project per circuit and the reasons for doing so. Has the Hawaiian Electric Companies considered that there may be multiple project proposals on a single circuit where those projects provide complementary operational benefits resulting in improved power quality and reliability of that single circuit?
  • The Companies intend to select no more than one project per circuit in order to simplify the interconnection review process. The process for reviewing multiple projects on a circuit, and various combinations of those projects, adds a high degree of complexity to the review process and significant time for review. Limiting the selection to one project per circuit is necessary in order to meet the aggressive project implementation schedules that are required to take advantage of available tax credits, which should ultimately reduce costs for all customers.
  • Please describe and identify the "Reference Plan" that would be used as the baseline for comparison as stated in Section of the draft Maui Electric Company Firm RFP. Is Maui Electric allowed to submit a Self-Build Option that differs from the Reference Plan?
  • Maui Electric's Reference Plan will be based on the Companies' December 2016 Power Supply Improvement Plan ("PSIP") Update Report ("PSIP Update Report: December 2016") E3 plan. Refer to Table 4-3 of the PSIP Update Report: December 2016 for additional information.

    Maui Electric can propose a self-build option that complies with the bid specifications, which may or may not be different than the planning assumptions utilized in the PSIP E3 plan.
  • Please clarify whether the "size of any single Generator shall not exceed 20 MW at unity power factor as measured at the Metering Point" (see page 30 of 36 of Exhibit 1 of the draft MECO Firm RFP) is in reference to the PPA net capacity for each Generator. Please confirm that the nameplate rating for each Generator greater than 20 MW at unity power factor would be allowed.
  • The phrase "size of any single Generator shall not exceed 20 MW at the Metering Point" does not refer to the nameplate of the generating unit. The nameplate rating of a generator may be greater than 20 MW. However, the point at which the output of the facility is measured (i.e., the Metering Point) shall not exceed 20 MW.
  • Would potential bidders be allowed to receive electronic copies on disc for selected monthly reports (subject to protective agreement or NDA, if needed)? The SCADA data showing short-term power and frequency fluctuations would be helpful in the design of the equipment and control software to assist in grid frequency regulation. Would this be made available to prospective bidders?
  • The Companies are not opposed to sharing non-confidential information that has been previously filed with the PUC. However, it is unclear from the question which specific reports are being requested. Any request for reports should clearly specify the request being made. Any information provided by the Companies to a requesting Proposer would need to be made available to all potential Proposers. Performance standards and descriptions of the facilities are included in Attachments B and G of the Model PPAs.

Update (November 17, 2017)

  • Why does Maui Electric need to replace the Kahului Power Plant generators with new fuel burners instead of more grid scale solar plus storage? Maalaea will still have 150+ MW of firm, liquid fuel-fired capacity.
  • Maui Electric's request for proposals does not specify a specific technology to replace the Kahului generators. Any proposal that meets the required attributes and the performance standards will be considered. Maalaea Power Plant has 208.42 MW-net of firm capacity.
  • What is the peak amount of firm capacity used in past two years?
  • Maui Electric's historical demand and its ability to meet customer demand can be found in Adequacy of Supply letters submitted annually with the Public Utilities Commission. In general, all of the available firm capacity is used at some time during the year to meet customer needs. Peak demand on the island of Maui in 2015 and 2016 was 202.2 MW-net and 201.0 MW-net, respectively.
  • What does Maui Electric pay for biofuel vs diesel oil today and where are the changing prices posted?
  • Maui Electric's oil inventory prices by month for the industrial fuel oil and the diesel/ULSD can be found in Maui Electric's monthly energy cost adjustment filings (See Attachment 3, p.1).
    Maui Electric's diesel and biofuel pricing information is confidential and is not provided to the public unless under protective order in a formal Commission proceeding.
  • Does Maui Electric have long term purchase contracts for biofuel or diesel oil?
  • Maui Electric has had long-term fuel contracts in the past, but today's practice is to procure short-term fuel supplies, typically no greater than 5 years.
  • Can biofuels be used in all the ICE generators at Kahului and Maalaea?
  • Yes. Biofuel can be used for ICE generators at Maalaea Power Plant but permit modifications would be required. There are no ICE generators at Kahului Power Plant.
  • In its proposal for RFPs for new grid scale variable facilities, Maui Electric says there may be only "one variable grid scale project per circuit." How many circuits does Maui Electric have on Maui?
  • The number of circuits Maui Electric has on Maui is not considered to be information that is necessary to prepare a responsive proposal for the scope of this RFP. However, please refer to Section 2.2.7 of the Draft Maui Firm RFP for Maui Electric's preferred interconnection voltage.
  • In Exhibit 3 of the proposed RFP filing, Maui Electric also says the "hosting capacity" of each circuit limits the size of the new facilities. (P.5) What size is each circuit? (Note: "circuit" is not in the Glossary and Acronyms appendix A.)
  • Selected circuit information has been made available through the Land RFI. See Appendix G of both the Maui Firm RFP and the Oahu Variable RFP. Please contact Hawaiian Electric's Interconnection Services Department at for additional information.
  • How does circuit size limit MW or MWh size of a new variable facility?
  • Circuit size limits the amount of energy that the generating facility can produce without overloading the system.
  • Maui Electric says it wants to add 270,000 MWh of grid scale variable renewable facilities. How many MWh did Maui Island use in 2016? How many from Kahului Power Plant, from the Maalaea plant, from customer solar, from hydro, from wind, from grid scale solar?
  • Please refer to the Hawaiian Electric Companies' updated Power Supply Improvement Plan filed December 23, 2016 in Docket No. 2014-00183 ("PSIP"), Appendix K for information about the energy mix from 2017-2045 consistent with the resource plan.
  • The slide show (on 11/3/17) said Maui Electric is seeking only 60MW now of new grid scale variable generation. Exhibit 3 says Maui Electric wants 240,000 MWh of it. Are these the same? How do you determine the likely MWh output of a given solar or wind facility?
  • The PSIP identified MW targets for specific technologies. Please refer to Chapters 3, 4, 6 and 7 for background information, resource and near-term action plans. For these technology-agnostic RFPs, the Companies converted MW to MWh using the same capacity factor assumptions used in the PSIP (see Appendix E).
  • Why not seek 180MW instead of just 60?
  • Please refer to Chapters 3, 4, 6 and 7 of the Companies' PSIP for information about the resource plan and near-term action plans for Maui.
  • Why not put the currently curtailed wind energy in storage for use later?
  • Please refer to Chapters 3, 4, 6 and 7 of the Companies' PSIP for information about the resource plan and near-term action plans for Maui. Please refer to the Companies' PSIP Chapter 3 (Analytical Approach), Appendix C (Analytical Methods and Models), and Appendix P (Consultant Reports) for information about energy storage that was not found to be cost effective when used in the manner described in your question.
  • Will there be an RFP for such a storage facility?
  • Please refer to Chapters 3, 4, 6 and 7 of the Companies' PSIP for information about the resource plan and near-term action plans for Maui, which include a contingency battery energy storage system.

Update (November 8, 2017)

  • According to the draft RFP, what is the protocol to request a technical meeting to discuss the locations, preliminary interconnection requirements, and desired ancillary services of solar-plus-storage projects on Oahu and Maui?
  • Please refer to Section 2.2 of the draft Variable RFP or Section 2.3 of the draft Firm RFP for information on contacting Hawaiian Electric's Interconnection Services Department to schedule a technical meeting.
  • How do I gain access to an event in PowerAdvocate?
  • Proposers must first register with PowerAdvocate following the detailed instructions in Section 3.2 of both the draft Variable and Firm RFPs. The RFx event in Sourcing Intelligence has been created, but Proposers will not be able to enter any Proposal information until the event is open for bidding. Proposers may request access to the event now, by emailing the respective RFP email address once they have successfully registered as a Supplier with PowerAdvocate.

    Please note that the Open and Close dates shown are placeholder dates, pending the procedural schedule that the Public Utilities Commission will establish.


Comments and questions have been received pointing out potential typographical or other errors in the draft documents. The Companies will review comments and questions received and any necessary corrections will be reflected in the proposed final draft of the documents filed with the PUC at the end of this draft development period.

Update (November 8, 2017)

  • There appears to be an error in Section 3.8.3 of the Maui Firm RFP. What are the non-negotiable sections of the PPAs?
  • The non-negotiable sections of the Maui Firm RFP in Section 3.8.3 should be: Article 2, Article 3 (Except for 3.1 (E) (F) and 3.3 (B) (C)), Article 4, Article 5, Article 6, Article 7, Article 8, Article 9, Article 12, Article 13, Article 15, Article 18, Article 22, Article 23, Article 25, Sections 2, 3 and 4 of Attachment B, Attachment C, Attachment H, Attachment I, Attachment J, Attachment M, Attachment Q, Attachment U, Attachment Y and Attachment AA.

    The non-negotiable sections of the Oahu Variable RFP are as enumerated in Section 3.8.4: Article 1, Article 2, Article 3, Article 7, Article 8, Article 9, Article 11, Article 12.3, Article 14, Article 15, Article 16, Article 17, Article 18, Article 20, Article 21, Article 22, Article 25, Article 26, Article 27, Article 29, Sections 2 and 3 of Attachment B, Attachment C, Attachment H, Attachment I, Attachment J, Attachment M, Attachment T, and Attachment U. Please note that all of Article 29 is non-negotiable. Additionally, the reference to Attachment Q is in error as Attachment Q is reserved.

    The RFPs deemed certain sections of the PPAs as non-negotiable. However, the Companies invite comments on these sections for consideration which may result in revisions to the proposed final drafts of the documents.