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North Kohala Energy Storage RFP Questions & Answers
Hawaiian Electric (sometimes also referred to as the "Company") provides the answers below, based on the best information available at the time an answer is posted, which may not reflect the scope and requirements of the final RFP. Prospective Proposers should review this Q&A page periodically to check for updates, additions, clarifications and/or corrections to any of Company's prior responses. Each Proposer is solely responsible for reviewing the final RFP (including all attachments and links), all responses to on this Q&A page and thoroughly investigating and informing itself with respect to all matters pertinent to the RFP, the Proposer's Proposal, and the Proposer's anticipated performance under the applicable power purchase agreement. It is the Proposer's responsibility to ensure it understands all requirements of the RFP and to seek clarification if the RFP's requirements or the Company's requests or responses are not clear. Accordingly, a potential Proposer may not rely upon a prior response that may be clarified or corrected in a subsequent response. Efforts will be made by the Company to highlight subsequent clarifications and corrections to prior responses, but potential Proposers are ultimately responsible for monitoring this Q&A page and to inquire with the Company regarding any perceived inconsistencies or contradictory information. Finally, a Proposer's submission of information to the Company will not be independently confirmed by the Company. All Proposers must separately request confirmation of receipt of submitted information if desired by any Proposer.
Q1. [Posted 10/29/21] Conventional generation was not found in the microgrid single line diagram and it seems that the BESS is the only synchronizing source for the DPV. Is that correct?
A1. The microgrid being proposed is intended to be able to operate without any conventional synchronous generation resources as indicated in the microgrid single line diagram. The Microgrid BESS resource sought for procurement in this RFP is expected to operate as a Grid Forming resource to provide adequate power quality in the microgrid when islanded in the absence of any conventional synchronous generation. The Grid Forming function of the BESS Microgrid resource inverters is expected to allow distributed PV (assuming this is the DPV abbreviation) to operate within the microgrid when islanding under the same customer use profile as if grid connected.
Q2. [Posted 10/29/21] After the line upgrade, will the microgrid be maintained to provide power during outages?
A2. Yes, the microgrid will be maintained to provide power during planned and unplanned outages for at least the 10 year term of the Energy Storage Services Agreement.
Q3. [Posted 10/29/21] With a 4MW peak load and 2MW DPV, it seems like the microgrid will be designed to operate for less than a day without additional resources. The assumption is that the BESS will start the microgrid at night initially at the start of an outage, but then would operate only during the day for prolonged multi-day outages. Is that correct?
A3. The microgrid has been sized to be able to support islanded operation during average weekday loading conditions between the hours of 6 am and 4 pm, to facilitate 1 hour transitions to and from islanding mode at the beginning and conclusion of an 8 hour work day on the 3300 line. Loading conditions and BESS state of charge prior to any unplanned outages of the 3300 line will determine the exact duration the BESS will be able to sustain an unplanned microgrid. Given this use case and the ability to monitor the BESS and loading during islanded operation, the need to restore the line sooner than planned during planned work can be anticipated and line work can be abbreviated to ensure reliability is retained on days where loading may be higher than average. Further, this same monitoring of BESS SOC during unplanned outages that require microgrid islanded operations can be applied to forecast the desired timing of temporary repairs if necessary to restore the grid connection and BESS charging such that permanent repairs can be made upon restoration of the BESS capacity to support the permanent repair work.
Q4. [Posted 10/29/21] Does the battery have enough short circuit strength to support PV inverter control stability and system protection? Does the bidder need to address that issue or do they just provide their models to Hawaiian Electric?
A4. This will be one of the key items to be investigated during the detailed interconnection requirements study (IRS) to be conducted upon selection of a proposal. The bidder will be expected to provide adequate model(s) that represents the actual performance of their BESS microgrid resource such that the IRS can determine adequate operation of the resource when islanded and grid connected. The bidder is expected to have the technical support of said model(s) to be able to ensure adjustable parameters are tuned and set appropriately for both grid connected and islanded operation. The modeling requirement as part of the proposal response is expected to inform our evaluation of each bidders modeling capability and ability to support the required modeling to make this assessment. If any additional supplemental equipment is found to be required to allow for this operation as a result of the IRS, the cost of such equipment will be expected to be the Company’s cost.
Q5. [Posted 10/29/21] Will shortlist bidders be able to work with Hawaiian Electric on EMT modeling and controls/equipment changes needed to support the microgrid's needs?
A5. Yes. See response to 4 above. The modeling is expected to be a collaborative effort between the bidder and Hawaiian Electric to try to achieve the desired results in modeling and eventually in operations.
Q6. [Posted 10/29/21] After the line upgrade, what SOC will be saved in preparation for an outage if some of the SOC is used for grid services during normal operation? I.e., how long is the microgrid designed to operate if there's an outage at night if it does operate at night?
A6. The entire BESS SOC is expected to be reserved for the back-up power reliability service to the microgrid area for all unplanned outages of the line even after the line upgrade. Any other grid services are not expected to compete for this SOC. The duration of an unplanned outage at night that the resource can support will depend on loading conditions and BESS state of charge prior to the unplanned outage, but is expected to be able to sustain several hours for all loading conditions and with the intent to retain the full SOC of the BESS for unplanned events.
Q7. [Posted 10/29/21] Noticed a round trip efficiency requirement, but is there a procedure outlining how that is measured? The assumption is that it includes the inverter losses, but does it also include ancillary power requirements? There can be significant cooling requirements for some battery systems that are somewhat independent of the battery operation. While the cost of that energy is probably put on the bidder, it also impacts the resource/load energy balance of the microgrid.
A7. Please see Attachment T (Capacity Ratio and RTE Ratio) of the Draft ESSA (Appendix L of the Draft RFP) for the Company’s preferred methods for validating the RTE Performance Level. As outlined, the RTE Performance Level is expected to consider inverter efficiency and all ancillary power required for the BESS to operate (including any HVAC loading) in normal operations while actively charging or discharging, but not while in a “standbye” state. Given the desired operation of this resource to be in “standbye” for a large portion of its operation, the energy the resource consumes while in “standbye” is not expected to effect the RTE Performance Level but the energy would be billed to the Seller at the appropriate tariff rate to ensure the BESS SOC is retained during extended periods of “standbye” in preparation for the next unplanned or planned operation of the microgrid.
Q8. [Posted 10/29/21] Please provide information regarding a Stakeholder review for the islanding controller and the microgrid controller components.
A8. The microgrid and BESS solution was extensively vetted by stakeholders in the North Kohala community. Further, the technical requirements of the BESS solution have been developed in collaboration with the experienced consultation of Entura and were done in such a way to agnostically interface with the envisioned microgrid controller. Hawaiian Electric plans to utilize a competitive bidding process for the microgrid portion of the project. Details of further stakeholder engagement for the microgrid portion of this project, which include the islanding controller and the microgrid controller, have not yet been finalized, but will likely begin once the manufacturer for the equipment has been chosen and prior to filing the application for this work with the PUC.
Q9. [Posted 10/29/21] Please provide information regarding technical requirements and specifications for (a) Islanding Controller, and (b) Microgrid Controller.
A9. Specifications and technical requirements for the microgrid portion of the project remain preliminary in preparation for the selection of a specific BESS resource and therefore have not yet been finalized. The technical requirements and specifications for the microgrid portion of the project will be designed to work in concert with the specific BESS resource selected. Preliminary design considerations of the microgrid portion of the project are currently coordinated with the functional requirements included in the BESS RFP and the Company’s existing SCADA system. The specific design and specification may be modified depending on the specific BESS resource selected and how its capabilities are to be monitored and controlled by the microgrid portion of the project as well as the microgrid’s interface to existing Company SCADA.
Q10. [Posted 10/29/21] Please provide information regarding the process by which the islanding controller and the microgrid controller components will be procured. (i.e. RFP, public bid, etc.).
A10. These components will be procured through a competitive bidding process and will be owned and operated by Hawaiian Electric.
Q11. [Posted 10/29/21] Please provide information regarding the procurement timeline for these components (islanding controller and the microgrid controller).
A11. The current projection is to file the application to the PUC for the microgrid portion of the project in December 2022, concurrent with filing of executed ESSA. Procurement would occur upon favorable decision from the PUC.
Q12. [Posted 11/8/21] Will there be a response to Stakeholder and PUC comments (prior to January 6th final RFP issued)?
A12. Per Section 1.5.2 of the RFP, RFP questions and Hawaiian Electric responses to them may be posted on www.hawaiianelectric.com/NorthKohalaEnergyStorageRFP.
Q13. [Posted 11/8/21] Will there be a Request For Information RFI scheduled after RFP is released?
A13. There is no Request For Information (RFI) scheduled after the RFP is released. Please reference Chapter 3, Table 1 of the RFP for the RFP Schedule. However, prospective Proposers may submit questions to Hawaiian Electric as set forth in Section 1.5.2 of the RFP.
Q14. [Posted 11/8/21] With regard to RFP Section 1.9.2 and 1.9.3, why is there a different process and due date? How can bidders be assured of fair competition? Regarding the Framework for Competitive Bidding which allows for Hawaiian Electric and Affiliate Proposals, what will be the basis for ensuring there will not be potential for nepotism?
A14. Per Section 1.9.1 of the RFP, the RFP is following the requirements and procedures set forth in the Competitive Bidding Framework (CBF) that governs competitive bidding as a mechanism for acquiring or building new energy generation and/or system resources in Hawaii. The CBF includes a provision that states, in the event that the utility is seeking to advance a proposal, that the utility shall submit its self-build proposal one day in advance of receipt of other bids.
Hawaiian Electric is using Power Advocate as the Electronic Procurement Platform. Power Advocate will be the solution receiving bids from Proposers. Hawaiian Electric will not have access to any documents submitted by Proposers until after the IPP and Affiliate Proposal Due Date showing in RFP Section 3, Table 1.
Each Hawaiian Electric employee and consultant actively participating in the RFP, be it on the RFP Team, Hawaiian Electric Proposal Team, Shared Resource or Unassigned Company Resource, must sign the Code of Conduct Acknowledgement Form. By doing so, each employee is committing to abide by the RFP Code of Conduct and the accompanying Procedures Manual. These documents outline the policies and procedures under which the competitive bidding process will be undertaken to ensure that the RFP process is fair and unbiased, that all Proposers have access to the same information so that no proposer has an unfair advantage, and that the Hawaiian Electric and/or affiliate options do not have any unfair competitive advantage or enjoy under preference over other bids.
The CBF allows for affiliates of Hawaiian Electric to submit proposal(s) in response to a RFP. In addition to the above-mentioned Code of Conduct and Procedures manual, affiliate proposals are subject to any Affiliate Transaction Requirements issued by the PUC as noted in Section 1.9.1 of the RFP.
Section 1.4 of the RFP discusses the role of the Independent Observer (IO). The IO will monitor all phases of the RFP, including but not limited to, the evaluation and selection of Proposals, communications between Hawaiian Electric and all Proposers, and Hawaiian Electric’s adherence to the Code of Conduct and Procedures Manual to ensure a fair and unbiased process.
Q15. [Posted 11/8/21] With regard to RFP Section 4.2, is the Company’s expectation that the facility’s capability of 22 MWh’s (98% (the “Performance Level Availability”); 85% (the “Performance Level RTE”)), shall remain in effect for the initial 10 year term?
A15. Per Section 1.2.5 of the RFP, the Project selected through this RFP shall use the ESSA. The term of the PPA/ESSA will be 10 years.
Q16. [Posted 11/8/21] Does Hawaiian Electric foresee conflict as a result of autonomous Company owned and operated controller and 3rd party BESS owned and operated? Example: BESS has the 98% Performance Level Availability, but there is an independent controls failure?
A16. Hawaiian Electric does not foresee problems with a Company owned and operated controller and 3rd party owned and operated BESS. The Company believes the draft RFP and ESSA requirements for the BESS as provided allow for the BESS to work with any commercially available controller implemented as a microgrid controller to provide the reliability services envisioned for the North Kohala area. If a stakeholder has a specific concern with a requirement or specification that is not currently included in the draft RFP and ESSA documents that would be counter to this understanding, please provide the specific concern for the Company to address.
The 98% availability is directly related to the BESS resource availability and all that is required from the Facility to ensure the BESS is made available at its Rated Active Power Capacity. The controller’s availability is not to have any impact on the BESS availability contractually and would solely be the responsibility of the Company to ensure it is available and functioning as designed. The Company incentive to ensure controller capability and availability is directly influenced by the impact of such a failure to perform on the Company’s reliability statistics that this project works to directly address. The BESS is only responsible for its own availability and not factors beyond its point of interconnection that may impact its ability to perform.
Q17. [Posted 11/8/21] Is Hawaiian Electric open to an option where a 3rd party provides both controller and BESS?
A17. Hawaiian Electric is not open to an option where a 3rd party provides both the controller and BESS. Per Chapter 1, 3rd paragraph, the RFP is to procure a single BESS Project only.
Q18. [Posted 11/8/21] Has the Company decided on a controller and when will the product specifications be shared with potential bidders? If unable to share the controller specifications, can you confirm which BESS solutions will be incompatible?
A18. Specifications and technical requirements for the microgrid portion of the project remain preliminary in preparation for the selection of a specific BESS resource and therefore have not yet been finalized. The technical requirements and specifications for the microgrid portion of the project will be designed to work in concert with the specific BESS resource selected. Preliminary design considerations of the microgrid portion of the project are currently coordinated with the functional requirements included in the BESS RFP and the Company’s existing SCADA system. The specific design and specification may be modified depending on the specific BESS resource selected and how its capabilities are to be monitored and controlled by the microgrid portion of the project as well as the microgrid’s interface to existing Company SCADA. Also reference Q&A 17.
Q19. [Posted 11/8/21] Can Hawaiian Electric confirm the affiliate name(s) that have the option to compete?
A19. Please reference the following link for Hawaiian Electric affiliates.
Q20. [Posted 11/8/21] With regard to the price eligibility requirement (combined cost of the BESS from the RFP and the Company microgrid controller not exceeding the estimated cost of a traditional second wires path solution), can the company provide SOW without costs to confirm understanding of the second wires path?
A20. Hawaiian Electric is unable to provide a SOW without costs. However, the Company is able to provide some information on the 2nd transmission line alternative. For example, the 2nd transmission line alternative includes approximately 14 miles of new 34.5kV sub-transmission line through an undeveloped corridor, a new 69-34.5kV unit substation, and approximately 2.5 miles of new 69kV line to separate the existing 7300 Line 69kV circuit.