Hawaiian Electric begins next stage of renewable energy procurement on Hawaii Island

Company seeking proposals for east Hawaii

Release Date: 10/18/2021

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HILO, Oct. 18, 2021 – To help meet the state of Hawaii’s clean energy and decarbonization goals, Hawaiian Electric recently filed a draft Request for Proposals for the third stage of its renewable energy procurement for Hawaii Island.

Based on recommendations from the Hawaii Island Near-Term Grid Needs Assessment report completed in July, the company is seeking proposals to acquire energy and capacity situated on the eastern portion of Hawaii Island. The company is seeking a variety of sources including new renewable dispatchable generation projects (with or without energy storage systems), extensions of existing resources after their current contract terms, standalone energy storage projects, and aggregated customer-sited distributed energy resources projects.

Hawaiian Electric will evaluate the proposals submitted in the RFP to determine if other services ancillary to the energy target can be acquired, including regulating reserve.

Hawaiian Electric will host a virtual community meeting to discuss the RFP on Thursday, Oct. 28, at 5:30 p.m. The community is invited to tune in live on Na Leo TV channel 54, online at naleo.tv/channel-54/, and on Hawaiian Electric’s Facebook page. Participants are welcome to ask questions during the meeting. Questions also can be sent in advance to hawaiirenewablerfp@hawaiianelectric.com. The virtual event will be recorded. For more information, visit hawaiianelectric.com/communitymeetings.

“Community engagement is important as we work together to shape our island’s energy future,” said Jennifer Zelko-Schlueter, Hawaiian Electric’s Director of Government and Community Affairs on Hawaii Island. “We value your input and encourage you to get involved and lend your voice to these important conversations about projects that may impact you. A community meeting allows you to learn more about a project, ask questions, and understand energy policy and process. It also gives us an opportunity to understand your perspective and listen to your ideas about solutions that are inclusive and fair.”

In 2019, Hawaiian Electric began Hawaii’s largest procurement effort for renewable energy resources to end the use of coal and reduce reliance on imported oil for power generation. The company sought approximately 900 megawatts – up to 203 MW on Hawaii Island – of new renewables or renewables paired with storage. It was among the largest single renewable energy procurements undertaken by a U.S. utility.

In the first two phases, three solar-plus-storage projects and one standalone storage project totaling approximately 132 MW of generation and 492 MWh of storage were selected for Hawaii Island.

Upon approval by the Commission, this third phase of renewable energy procurement will be opened to bids from developers locally and globally. Pending approval, the first projects are expected to come online no later than 2030. The proposed timeline for proposals, subject to Commission approval, is:

Event Date
Final RFP is issued February 14, 2022
Proposal due date May 17, 2022
Company selects priority list August 1, 2022
Best and final offers due August 8, 2022
Final award group named November 21, 2022
Contract negotiations begin November 28, 2022

Hawaiian Electric exceeded the state milestone of 30% of electricity sales coming from renewable sources in 2020, with Hawaii Island recording a renewable portfolio standard of 43.4%. In 2021, the percentage is expected to increase as Puna Geothermal Venture is back online and more customers are adopting rooftop solar.