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Our cost sharing policy aims to avoid unduly burdening any one party with the entire cost of burying existing distribution lines. View our cost sharing policy
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 (March 21, 2018)
When are multiple Non-Disclosure Agreements (NDAs) required?
The NDAs for the Oahu Variable, Hawaii Variable and the Maui Variable RFPs each have a different form of the NDA. Therefore, a Proposer would need to execute the NDA that is specific to each RFP that he/she would like to participate in. If the Proposer would like to submit multiple Proposals to a particular RFP, one (1) NDA is sufficient to cover all of the Proposals for that particular RFP. For example, if a Proposer wishes to submit one (1) Proposal for the Oahu RFP, one Proposal for the Hawaii RFP, and 2 Proposals for the Maui RFP, then the Proposer must fill out one Oahu NDA, one Hawaii NDA and one Maui NDA.
Update (February 28, 2018)
Until what date is it anticipated that potential bidders will be able to submit and receive responses to questions about the RFP via the RFP email address?
In Section 3.7 of Appendix E, it advises Proposers to allow time for the Company to respond to requests and also allow time to consider the Company's response in the development of its Proposal. In Section 1.5.2 of the RFP, it advises Proposers to submit questions no later than ten days before the Proposals are due. The Company will endeavor to respond to the questions no later than 5 days before the Proposals are due.
Update (January 26, 2018)
What is the deadline to provide comments to the draft PPA form?
The PUC recently issued Order No. 35224 directing the Companies to file final Variable RFPs by February 2, 2018. Any proposed redlines to the Model RDG PPAs could be provided with a Proposer’s proposal response.
Update (January 23, 2018)
I have registered as a Supplier on PowerAdvocate. How can I be admitted to the PowerAdvocate RFx event?
The RFx events in PowerAdvocate are not officially open for submittals yet. However, we can process your request to be admitted into the events at this time, and once the events are opened, you will be able to start the submittal process. Please send an email request to the appropriate RFP email address specifying your PowerAdvocate user name, and we will process your request.
Until the event is officially opened, Suppliers will only be allowed to access Pre-Bid information. Please do not upload any files into this event until you are notified that the event is officially opened.
Update (December 29, 2017)
Will there be any technical conferences before another draft RFP is released?
The Companies await further orders establishing the timing of forthcoming procedural steps by the Commission. In the meantime, they continue to work on further refinements to the RFPs.
Do you intend to release another draft of the RFP before receiving any further guidance from the PUC? If so, when would you anticipate the next draft?
To align the next draft with further guidance from the PUC, the Companies will wait for the anticipated orders before issuing another draft.
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 (April 26, 2018)
Would the Company allow proposers to submit two sets of prices, one based on the maximization of the Hawaii tax credit and one that assumes no Hawaii tax credit?
Proposers should only submit a single price based on maximizing all applicable tax credits.
Section 1.2.13 of the RFP provides that "Proposers shall pursue all applicable federal and state tax credits and Proposal pricing must be set to incorporate the benefit of such tax credits or to pass the benefit of the tax credits to the Company's customers" (emphasis added). Section 1.2.13 of the RFP also refers to Attachment J, Section 5 of the RDG PPA, which provides as follows:
Company acknowledges and agrees that the Refundable Tax Credit and Non-Refundable Tax Credit shall inure to the benefit of the Claiming Entity; provided, however, that Seller acknowledges and expressly agrees that the Refundable Tax Credit and Non-Refundable Tax Credit, with regard to Seller's Facility, have been calculated into the Contract Pricing based on the maximization of such credits. In the event that Seller's Facility does not gain the benefit of the Refundable Tax Credit and/or the Non-Refundable Tax Credit, Seller expressly acknowledges and agrees that it shall not seek to amend the Contract Pricing.
Neither the RFP nor the RDG PPA provides that the Proposer must propose pricing that maximizes the Hawaii state tax credit in its current form. Rather, the Proposal price must be based on maximizing all applicable tax credits. In submitting a price, Proposers will need to make their own determination and assumptions regarding whether a tax credit is likely to be available, and therefore applicable when their proposed project is scheduled to achieve commercial operations. If a Proposer assumes that a tax credit will be available and incorporates the credit in its proposed pricing, the Proposer would assume the risk that the law may change, and the Proposer would not be permitted to change its pricing even if the tax credit is unavailable in the future. A different Proposer might propose pricing based on its determination that that due to an uncertainty, such as the uncertainty described in this question, that a tax credit will not be available in the future.
A question requested clarification regarding the assumption of tax credits calculated into Contract Pricing for each of the variable RFPs (Oahu, Maui, Hawaii). Please clarify or reconcile how (1) on the one hand Sellers are required to submit Contract Pricing assuming the maximization of existing Federal and State tax credits, but (2) on the other hand are required to assume the risk of any future changes to laws or regulations that may affect such tax credits (as Sellers are not permitted to seek to amend the Contract Pricing and submitting contingent Contract Pricing in Proposals to account for such risk may violate Eligibility Requirements).
The cited provisions are clear, unambiguous and internally consistent with each other. As stated in the RFP, bids are not permitted to be contingent based up potential changes in laws or regulations. Therefore, while Proposers are entitled to make their own assumptions as to the likelihood of certain events taking place in the future, the Contract Pricing may not be contingent on such assumptions coming to fruition. Consistent with this direction, the PPA provides that the Proposer must calculate the Contract Pricing based on the maximization of available tax credits but reiterates that such Contract Pricing may not be contingent on whether the Facility is actually able to obtain the benefit of such tax credits. Requiring all Proposers to provide Contract Pricing that is not contingent on potential changes in law ensures that bids will be compared on an "apple to apples" basis.
Is it the Hawaiian Electric Companies' intention that Proposers for this RFP be listed companies with audited financial statements and a credit rating from one of the three major rating agencies? Or would it be possible for other entities to demonstrate the necessary financial strength without these specific items?
Please note that Section 2.3.4 of Appendix B also requires the Proposer-entity and its parent company to provide audited financial statements. If current credit ratings are not available for the Proposer-entity, credit ratings for the parent company may be provided.
If neither the Proposer-entity nor its parent entity has audited financial statements and a credit rating from one of the three major rating agencies, a Proposer-entity can demonstrate necessary financial strength by providing pro forma balance sheets, income statements and cash flow statements, certified by the Proposer as true and correct and conforming to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, for financial review.
If a Proposer-entity or its parent company has no credit rating, pursuant to Section 2.3.4. of Appendix B, additional evidence can be provided by the Proposer to demonstrate its ability to provide the required securities, including type of security, sources of security and a description of its credit support provider. A Proposer should also provide a description of any current credit issues regarding the Proposer or affiliate entities raised by agencies, banks, or accounting firms.
Update (April 19, 2018)
Can landholders give all potential developers equal amount of site control for the same parcel?
Pursuant to Section 4.3 of the RFP, Site Control may be contingent upon selection of a Proposal to the Final Award Group. Thus, a land owner could potentially give multiple Proposers site control for the same parcel contingent upon selection to the Final Award Group. Information regarding any provision in the Site Control documents that would limit the Company's ability to select any combination of Proposals to the Final Award Group must be disclosed to the Company in a Proposal. The Company will evaluate this information as part of the non-price analysis of site control.
What if the IRS is not able to provide a federal tax clearance certificate or any other documentation for the proposing entity because it was formed (specifically for the proposed project) within the last year?
For a subsidiary corporation or single member LLC disregarded as separate from the owner, please provide a federal tax clearance certificate for the parent corporation or owner, as applicable. Also, if you subscribe to Hawaii Compliance Express, you may submit a copy of your online "Certificate of Vendor Compliance" in lieu of providing individual copies of your state and federal tax clearances. For more information on the Hawaii Compliance Express service, please go to https://vendors.ehawaii.gov/.
Update (April 17, 2018)
What is the schedule from studying the project and leading to a Generator Interconnection Agreement for a developer to start construction of the project? What is the estimated time that it will take to study the project and reach an Interconnection Agreement?
The Company's interconnection process does not utilize an interconnection agreement that is separate from the PPA. The length of time required to do the Interconnection Requirement Study (IRS) will depend, among other things, on the completeness of the information and models that are submitted. According to RFP Section 5.1, "Submission of Facility models and documentation required to perform the IRS is required on the Proposal due date. Proposers must be prepared to provide any additional data necessary for the IRS within fifteen (15) days of request. Failure to provide all requested material within the time specified, or changes to the data provided after the deadline, is grounds for elimination from the Final Award Group."
The Company expects to select the Final Award Group by mid-September 2018 in order to remain aligned with the PUC's guidance to file executed PPAs by the end of 2018. PPA negotiations will run in parallel with the IRS and system impact studies. If all studies can be completed as planned, the results of the IRS can be incorporated into amendments to PPAs and filed with the PUC by mid-2019.
Could a proposal designed for a 12.47 kV interconnection on a distribution line connected to a 69 kV substation be submitted into the HELCO Variable Renewable Dispatchable Generation RFP?
Section 1.2.15 of the RFP requires that projects bidding into the RFP interconnect to the grid at the 69 kV level. Therefore, a project proposing to interconnect to a 12.47 kV distribution line would not meet the requirements identified in the RFP.
Please clarify the maximum project capacity for the Hawaii RFP. The Hawaii RFP indicates in 1.2.4 and 4.2 as an eligibility requirement that the generation limit should not be greater than 30MW. The response to R48 on 28th March stated "stage 1 of the Hawaii Island RFP will be limited to 20 MW or approximately 95,000 MWh". Will a project greater than 20MW and less than 30MW with less than 95,000MWh/yr be compliant with the RFP? For greater clarity, would a project of 25MW and 90,000MWh be eligible for the Hawaii Variable RDG RFP?
The 20 MW reference in the answer to question R48 on the Questions & Answers page is related to how the 95,000 MWh/year energy target for the RFP was derived and does not impose a hard limitation on project size for the RFP. A project with a generation capacity greater than 20 MW and less than 30 MW with less than 95,000 MWh/year of net output (e.g., 25 MW of capacity and 90,000 MWh/year of net output) will be considered compliant with the sizing requirements set forth in the Hawaii Variable Renewable Dispatchable Generation RFP.
Update (April 13, 2018)
What are the Transient Stability ride-through requirements of the Maui and Oahu performance standards? In the Oahu RFP Appendix B, Section 3.1.7, the required number of cycles was left blank.
The developer is required to provide different information for the Oahu RFP and the Maui RFPs.
Attachment B, Section 3.(e) and (f) of the Oahu PPA for Renewable Dispatchable Generation (which is included as RFP Appendix C) specifies the performance standard requirements for Undervoltage and Over Voltage Ride-Through for Hawaiian Electric.
In the Oahu RFP Appendix B, Section 3.1.7, the Developer is asked to provide the number of cycles up to the point the facility can remain online for conditions (1) and (2).
Attachment B, Section 3.(e) and (f) of the Maui PPA for Renewable Dispatchable Generation (which is included as RFP Appendix C) specifies the performance standard requirements for Undervoltage and Over Voltage Ride-Through for Maui Electric.
In the Maui RFP Appendix B, Section 3.1.5, the Developer is asked to provide a description of the facility's performance for the events/scenarios that are presented.
In both the Oahu and Maui RFPs, the actual standards will be defined based on an Interconnection Requirements Study.
Can you please confirm that the Net Energy Potential for projects coupled with storage should not be net of the losses from the battery?
Yes, we confirm that for projects coupled with storage, the Net Energy Potential of the combined facility would be the Net Energy Potential of only the renewable energy generating source. The Company will evaluate proposals to determine which projects are best for the Company's system and its customers based on the terms of the RFP, including the cost of such projects to our customers.
Update (April 5, 2018)
Please clarify the 20 MW Facility planned outages limit stated in Section 1.2.4 of the Maui Variable RFP.
After consulting with and obtaining approval from the Independent Observer, the Company will update the requirement in Section 1.2.4 of the Maui Variable RFP and revise the planned outage restrictions (maintenance) on a Facility, raising it from 20 MW to 30 MW. Section 1.2.4 of the RFP will be revised to specify that no single point of failure from the Facility or planned outage shall result in a decrease in net electrical output greater than 30MW. Revised Section 1.2.4 will read:
To avoid increasing the size of contingency events and to ensure system reliability requirements, no single point of failure from the Facility shall result in a decrease in net electrical output greater than 30 MW. The current largest single contingency on the Company's system is the size of the largest generating unit on the System at any given time. The proposed renewable generation limit of not greater than 30 MW is an Eligibility Requirement for this RFP. See Section 4.2 of this RFP. The minimum size of a Facility will be the threshold for a waiver from the Competitive Bidding Framework applicable to Maui. See Part II.A.3.f of the Framework.
Update (April 2, 2018)
Is there a specific document to sign for the representative for the Proposer authorizing the submission of the Proposal, or is a letter on company letterhead stating who is submitting the Proposal sufficient?
The purpose of the certification referenced in Section 2.1 of Appendix B is to provide assurance to the Company that the individual submitting and signing a Proposal has the legal authority to do so on behalf of the Proposer. A certification on company letterhead would be sufficient. The certification should include the following information:
- That the individual signing the Proposal is a duly authorized representative of the Proposer that has actual authority to sign and submit the Proposal on behalf of the Proposer.
- That all the statements and representations made in the Proposal are true and accurate to the best of the Proposer’s knowledge and that the Company may rely upon such statements and representations for purposes of evaluating the Proposal.
- That the Proposer represents that it understands the requirements, terms, and conditions of the RFP.
- Certification signatory’s printed name, title, signature and date of signature.
Update (March 27, 2018)
Is PV plus storage considered variable or firm?
See response to item R49 below.
Why is a ring bus necessary on a radial line that can be disconnected upstream of a firm or non-firm project?
A ring bus is required on a radial line to prevent a fault of a generating facility from disrupting service to customers. Also a fault downstream of the generating facility will be isolated, allowing the generating facility to remain energized. If the generating facility is at the end of the radial line where disruption of service to existing customers is minimal, a ring bus may not be required. The IRS will determine interconnection requirements for all projects.
Why require a distinction between the allowable configurations for firm and variable generation on a 69 kV (on Maui) or 46kV (on Oahu) radial line?
The Interconnection Facilities and Cost Information in Appendix I are the Company practices that have been developed to integrate additional firm and variable generation to maintain the required reliability and operational flexibility required for an island system.
What qualifies as Variable vs. Firm?
The RFPs are not technology-specific and any proposals that meet the required attributes and performance standards will be considered. In the context of the Hawaiian Electric Companies' request for proposals (RFP), a bidder should propose a project that can meet the Performance Standards and desired attributes of the particular RFP process (whether the variable RFP or firm RFP) into which the project is being proposed. Any such proposal will be evaluated based on the evaluation criteria defined within each variable or firm RFP.
Update (March 26, 2018)
Please clarify the resource need for the Hawaii Variable RFP.
The Company has determined that there may be some confusion in the description of the target capacity sought in the Hawaii Variable RFP. The Company would like to provide new language to replace footnote 1, located on page 1 of the Hawaii Variable RFP. The following language is not a change in scope in Stage 1, but rather a clarification of the targeted resource needs for Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the RFP. Footnote 1 should read:
1 The Companies' PSIP assumptions through 2022 for Hawaii Island did not contemplate the recently approved Hu Honua project and therefore the target capacity has been reduced from 70 MW to 50 MW to reflect the size of the Hu Honua project. The 50 MW translates to approximately 240,000 MWh. However, stage 1 of the Hawaii Island RFP will be limited to 20 MW or approximately 95,000 MWh, consistent with the 2020 PSIP until needed upgrades can be made to accommodate selection in Stage 2 of more renewables by 2022.
Update (March 21, 2018)
In the Land RFI information update, a few of the "Available Capacity" amounts for some of the transmission and distribution circuits on Oahu were updated. In some instances the updated information indicates a circuit has "0 MW of available capacity." Will a project be allowed to interconnect to a line with 0 MW available capacity? Will it be allowed to interconnect if storage is included in the proposed configuration?
If there is 0 MW of available capacity for a given circuit, a project will not be able to interconnect to that circuit, even if storage is included.
Now that the PUC has approved the power purchase agreement for the Hu Honua project on Hawaii Island, will the project be included when considering the resource composition of the Hawaii Electric Light system?
Yes, for purposes of evaluation in the RFP, Hu Honua will be included in the Hawaii Island reference resource plan.
Update (March 13, 2018)
One of the Eligibility Requirements listed in Section 4.2 is: "The Proposer must provide Federal and State tax clearance certificates for the Proposer."
Could you please provide the certificate or form name and tax administration agency for the Federal and State tax clearance certificates?
The following link will direct you to a brochure provided by the State of Hawaii Department of Taxation:
Proposers who do not already have the required State and Federal tax clearance certificates are advised to check with the State of Hawaii Department of Taxation, as well as consult with their Tax Advisors to obtain them.
Note: Links to external sites are provided as a service to you and are neither owned nor maintained by Hawaiian Electric. Hawaiian Electric shall not be responsible for the content and/or accuracy of any information contained within these other sites.
Update (March 12, 2018)
Questions R42, R43 and R44 refer to the following requirements specified in Section 1.2.4 in the Maui Variable RFP:
- No single point of failure from the Facility shall result in a decrease in net electrical output greater than thirty (30) MW.
- The Facility planned outages should not exceed twenty (20) MW.
Is the size of a facility limited to 30 MW?
The requirement is that no single point in failure from the Facility can result in a decrease in net output greater than 30 MW and planned outages should not exceed 20 MW. This includes interconnection equipment such as transformers and tie lines. The Facility could be sized greater than 30 MW as long as a single point of failure will not result in a decrease of net output of more than 30 MW (e.g., through controls) and maintenance outages (including transformer maintenance outages) not exceed 20 MW.
Planned outages could be scheduled at night. Does this mean that two 30 MW projects could be adjacent with two separate 30 MW interconnections to total a 60 MW project?
Planned outages may be scheduled to take place at night to mitigate any system impact and would have to be limited to 20 MW for facilities delivering power only during the day. Having two adjacent 30 MW projects with two separate interconnections could be one solution to meet the 30 MW limit loss due to single point of failure requirement but the 20 MW maintenance limit would need to be met too.
Could one 60 MW interconnection still be proposed as long as controls or battery storage were in place to limit sudden drop in output greater than 30 MW?
No, a single 60 MW interconnection does not meet the 30 MW single point of failure requirement. A 60 MW project would require (3) 20 MW transformers to meet both of the above requirements.
The RFP notes that 'net energy' must be able to be delivered at all times – in what situations does HECO foresee needing output from both the solar and battery at the same time? We would expect this might only occur in the early evening hours when both the PV is producing and the battery is discharged during the evening peak. Can you confirm the expected use case?
Because of inherent uncertainty in the energy demand profiles and types and amounts of resources that will be added to the system over time, the Company cannot predict and therefore advise on all situations in which output from the Facility and storage would be required simultaneously. However, a situation like you described is one possible scenario in which the resource and energy storage could be called upon to discharge simultaneously. Other situations could arise at any time where the resource and energy storage could be called upon to discharge simultaneously. In all situations, the Company will maintain complete dispatching rights over the entire Facility, in accordance with Section 220.127.116.11 of the RFP.
Additionally, and as a reminder, to reduce the risk of the Detailed Evaluation or Interconnection Requirements Study identifying an adverse system impact that would prevent a Facility from entering commercial operation by the end of 2022, a proposed Facility should limit its output (and will necessarily need to limit its output when operating the Facility and discharging the battery at the same time) to the hosting capacity during daytime hours and to the thermal capacity of the limiting conductor during non–daytime hours (i.e., 5 p.m. to 6 a.m.). The limiting conductor during non-daytime hours will be dependent on, among other factors, the point of interconnection. For example, on Oahu the largest 46kV sub-transmission conductor has a capacity of 55 MVA which would be the limit for the combined output (e.g., PV + storage). In all cases, the maximum contingency or single point failure of the facility will be limited to 135 MW on Oahu and 30 MW on Maui and Hawaii island to limit the contingency event per Section 1.2.4.
Update (March 9, 2018)
Our proposal plans to interconnect to the X transmission circuit at the following Y location. What is the Available Transmission Circuit Capacity for the X transmission circuit?
When the Available Transmission Circuit Capacity is requested for a specific transmission level circuit, the interconnection capacity limit that will be provided will be the thermal limit of the line reduced by any firm generation and as-available generation capacity already on the circuit. To meet the Available Transmission Circuit Capacity threshold requirement, the Facility's net output must be below this rating. Please be advised that there is another Eligibility Requirement that specifies no single point of failure from the Facility shall result in a decrease in net electrical output greater than the MW specified in Section 1.2.4 of the respective RFPs. The available capacity of a transmission line is dependent on many factors including location of the point of interconnection, system load, generation unit dispatch, and transmission line contingencies. Load flow analyses are required to determine the available line capacities for various scenarios, but these analyses cannot be performed at this juncture of the RFP process. As noted in the RFP, load flow analyses will be performed as part of the project selection process. A detailed Interconnection Requirements Study, when performed, may reveal other adverse system impacts that may further limit a project's ability to interconnect and/or further limit the net output of the Facilities.
If a generation facility is proposed with an equally sized battery system connected in parallel to a common bus, which feeds a common step up transformer and circuit breaker both rated at the same size as the capacity of the generation facility and the battery system, how would the project be evaluated against the Available Transmission Circuit Capacity Threshold Requirement and the single point of failure from the facility Eligibility Requirements?
For the configuration that's described, the Company would consider both the output capacity of the project as well as the maximum decrease in net electrical output due to a single point of failure from the Facility to be the size of the common step up transformer. A short circuit analysis will be performed for the entire facility (i.e. the solar plant and BESS) as part of the system impacts study in the IRS.
Are developers required to submit PSSE models with their RFP?
Yes, developers are required to submit PSSE models with their Proposal. Item 3.2.2 in RFP Appendix B Proposer's Response Package/IRS Data Sheet requires developers to complete and provide an appropriate Interconnection Requirement Study Data Request worksheet for the generation technology being proposed. One of the requirements in the Interconnection Requirements Study Data Request worksheet is to provide the software models that accurately represent the Facility. These models should be uploaded in their native file format through the "2. Upload Documents" tab on the PowerAdvocate platform.
Is the capacity of the project identified in the Mutual Confidential and Non-Disclosure Agreement (Appendix F) binding?
No, any project capacity that is identified in the Mutual Confidential and Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) will not be considered to be binding. Ultimately, the project capacity included in the Proposal submitted through the PowerAdvocate platform will be used for RFP evaluation and selection purposes and may differ from the capacity initially identified in the NDA.
Update (March 8, 2018)
Aside from shifting output from day to evening, what does the Company view as the most important ancillary services that a BESS would provide? Storage systems can be configured to provide more or less of certain ancillary services depending on a system's specific needs.
In addition to providing energy when the source energy is not available (as described in Section 1.2.12 of the RFP), the proposed Facility (including any BESS) should provide frequency response and be able to meet all of the Performance Standards set forth in the model RDG PPA. Appendix M of the RFP also identifies revisions that would need to be made to the RDG PPA for proposals that include a BESS.
Can the Company provide information on daily load and generation profile for Maui, either a year of annual data or a summary showing an average day?
The Company provides parameters for project proposals coupled with storage in Section 1.2.12 of the RFP. As noted in that section, the Company would maintain complete charging and dispatch rights over the entire Facility. Also, the proposed storage must be charged solely by the renewable resource. Although there is uncertainty in future demand profiles, illustrative examples of possible daily load shapes in the future can be found in Appendix K of the Companies' PSIP Update Report: December 2016.
Is the hosting capacity described in the Land RFI data a hard limit 24/7/365, or could more or less hosting capacity be available at different times of day? For example, could a 20 MW Solar project deliver 20 MW some of the time on a line that occasionally has only 14 MW of capacity available? Or would that project need some battery storage to accommodate the excess generation > 14 MW?
In the example of a 20MW solar project with a daytime hosting capacity of 14MW, in general, a battery would be required to absorb the excess energy greater than 14MW. An Interconnection Requirements Study or Detailed Evaluation would make the final determination of any interconnection requirements. As part of their grid modernization strategy, the Companies contemplate technologies to achieve dynamic control of PV plants as understood in the question; however, at this time those technologies would not be available in time for commercial operations of the Stage 1 projects.
[Several questions have been posed to the Companies regarding storage on projects proposed on the Oahu sub-transmission system. The Companies have consolidated these questions into R31–R33 with the following responses.]
Can a Facility coupled with energy storage exceed the transmission-level available hosting capacity?
A proposed generating Facility may have a nameplate capacity greater than the transmission or sub-transmission hosting capacity, and may be coupled with energy storage, provided that the Generating Facility will include limiting controls to ensure that the net output will not exceed the hosting capacity.1 This will be evaluated consistent with Section 4.3 (Threshold Requirements) of the RFP, which states, "[t]he output capacity of the Proposed project must not exceed the available capacity of the transmission-level circuit to which it will interconnect."
Appendix N of the PSIP Update Report: December 2016 included an illustrative example of how energy storage could be used to shift solar energy to avoid sub-transmission constraints (linked here as Attachment 1 for convenience (PDF)).
1 As generally stated in Section 2.2 of the RFP, hosting capacity is not the final determination whether it is feasible to interconnect a Proposed Facility. Hosting capacities represent the power system's conditions at the time the analysis was conducted. Hosting capacity information that has been made available to Proposers in accordance with the terms of the RFP examined steady-state thermal capacity and voltage issues during daytime minimum loading conditions only. A detailed Interconnection Requirements Study may reveal other adverse system impacts that may further limit a project's ability to interconnect and/or further limit the net output of the Facility.
Are there any additional guidelines for sizing an energy storage component of the Facility?
To reduce the risk of the Detailed Evaluation or Interconnection Requirements Study identifying an adverse system impact that would prevent a Facility from entering commercial operation by the end of 2022, a proposed Facility should limit its output to the available hosting capacity during daytime hours and to the thermal capacity of the limiting conductor during non–daytime hours (i.e., 5 p.m. to 6 a.m.). The limiting conductor during non-daytime hours will be dependent on, among other factors, the point of interconnection. For example, on Oahu, the largest 46kV sub-transmission conductor has a capacity of 55 MVA, which would be the limit for the combined output (e.g., PV + storage).
How will a Facility coupled with energy storage impact the evaluation of the Proposed project?
As stated in Section 1.2.12 of the RFP, the evaluation of a Proposal will consider, among other things, the energy storage component, "reflecting the combined available renewable and storage available capacity, at times that are beneficial to the system and for customers under the terms of the PPA. Flexibility in charging/discharging periods is necessary due to uncertainty in future demand profiles over the life of the contract." If a Facility (coupled with energy storage) is required to have output limiting controls (e.g., to avoid a local, sub-transmission constraint), those controls may limit the flexibility of the operation of the energy storage to be dispatched "at times that are beneficial to the system and for customers". Those operational constraints will be considered during the evaluation of the Facility.
Update (February 28, 2018)
If the proposer, partner or credit support provider doesn't have an investment credit rating (e.g., if the company is privately held), what other information could be provided to support financial strength (e.g., minimum tangible net worth)?
Other information that could be provided if a Proposer does not have an investment credit rating are audited or unaudited financial statements.
Can the affiliate or credit support provider be a Canadian entity?
Yes, the affiliate or credit support provider can be a Canadian entity as long as that entity meets the requirements set forth in the RFP.
If the proposer and parent company do not have a DUNS Number and a Dun & Bradstreet Rating (e.g., are private entities), could a letter of support from a financial institution be acceptable?
If awarded a PPA, could the proposer assign the PPA to a newly formed entity (e.g., a Special Purpose Vehicle) owned by the Proposer or an affiliate?
The model RDG PPA that is part of the RFP contains specific provisions that address assignment. Please see for example, Section 19.2 (Assignment by Seller) of the RDG PPA.
If the proposer doesn't have audited annual reports, would it be ok to submit unaudited financial statements?
Yes. And, if the Proposer's parent entity has audited financial statements, the Proposer should provide those as well.
Update (February 16, 2018)
If we have proposals for projects that are smaller than the minimum project size (e.g., smaller than 5 MW for island of Oahu), what procedure should we follow?
Because the competitive RFP process has begun and the Company wants to determine what renewable resources it can acquire through that competitive process, proposers of projects that are smaller than the competitive bidding threshold for the island on which they are seeking to propose are being asked to wait until after the Final Award Group has been determined through this Stage 1 RFP process. The Company plans to re-evaluate its needs after Stage 1 of the RFP, and may also issue a request for information for non-conforming proposals to determine what project opportunities are available to then understand how to better approach Stage 2 of the RFPs and whether any negotiations for non-conforming proposals show great benefit to customers and the Company’s system.
Update (January 26, 2018)
At the first stage of the RFP, are you looking for solar or solar plus storage, rather than wind resources for Oahu?
As mentioned in the draft RFP, the Company doesn't does not have a predetermined preference for a particular renewable energy source or technology for the generation being sought.
Is the RFP the best way to offer an expansion or an addition to an existing renewable project? Or should an IPP work directly with the Hawaiian Electric Companies as the current off-taker?
Only new facilities are being solicited in this Stage 1 RFP. Independent Power Producers may contact the applicable utility's assigned Energy Contract Manager to discuss existing facilities.
Is the Hawaiian Electric Companies interested in storage only additions to an existing site, and if so, is the RFP the best way to offer such additions?
The Company is not seeking standalone storage projects or storage paired with existing projects in this Stage 1 RFP. Independent Power Producers may contact the applicable utility's assigned Energy Contract Manager to discuss existing facilities.
Update (December 29, 2017)
How many acres are allocated for variable renewable dispatchable generation at the Waena site?
A Company-owned site, referred to as the Waena site is planned to be offered to Proposers for their consideration in the Maui Variable Renewable Dispatchable Generation RFP. The Waena site consists of 65.7 acres located along Pulehu and Waiko roads in central Maui (TMK 3-8-03:23 and 3-8-03:24). See Appendix G page 4 and 5 in the Draft RFP for Firm Capacity Renewable Generation. The site is zoned Heavy Industrial. The Company Site is currently vacant land owned by the Company. Up to approximately 33.6 acres has been allocated for the variable facility at the Waena site, shown in yellow in Appendix G page 6.
Not all stakeholder comments were addressed. Will there be an attempt by Hawaiian Electric to respond to all comments? For example, the recently filed Hawaiian Electric comments did not address comments on the need for a process to take into account the preferential rate for agriculture-related projects. Will this be addressed at any point?
In order to streamline the Companies' responses to the numerous comments received, the comments and respective responses were organized into several general topics in the Companies' comment response letter submitted on December 20, 2017. At this time, the Companies do not anticipate making any additional filings, but will continue to review and respond to questions submitted via email through the process set forth in the RFPs.
The process for obtaining a preferential rate under HRS § 269-27.3 was detailed by the Commission in Decision & Order No. 33945 (D&O No. 33945) in Docket No. 2015-0324. As set forth in D&O No. 33945, there is an independent regulatory process that must be followed in order to obtain the Commission's approval for a preferential rate under HRS § 269-27.3. The decision as to whether a project is entitled to obtain a preferential rate is left to the sole discretion of the Commission. Conversely, the RFP process contemplates that the utility (under the supervision of an Independent Observer) will review, evaluate and select winning Proposals. Therefore, the Companies do not believe that the process to obtain a preferential rate under HRS § 269-27.3 is compatible with an RFP process conducted under the Framework for Competitive Bidding. In particular, the RFP contemplates scoring Proposals based on both price and non-price factors. It is not possible to allocate a price-related score to a Proposal that is contingent on obtaining Commission approval of a preferential rate (which may or may not be approved at some point in the future).
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 18.104.22.168 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.