Hawaiian Electric issues call for projects to significantly expand renewable energy generation on Oahu, Maui

Latest procurement includes request for firm renewable capacity

Release Date: 1/23/2023

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HONOLULU, Jan. 23, 2023 – Hawaiian Electric announced it is seeking proposals for renewable energy projects on Oahu and Maui in a new round of clean energy procurement that for the first time includes requests to develop firm renewable capacity on the two islands.

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

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

Hawaiian Electric is seeking proposals for a variety of intermittent and firm renewable energy and capacity resources on Oahu and Maui that include but are not limited to wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and biofuels. Standalone energy storage proposals also will be accepted.

The RFPs are unique in that they seek firm renewable capacity for both islands. Firm renewable energy differs from intermittent resources such as solar and wind in that it is available at all times. While previous RFPs have focused exclusively on intermittent resources, the new procurements seek to broaden the future generation mix to ensure the two islands have a diverse portfolio of generation resources. These RFPs are companions to the Hawaii Island RFP that was opened on Nov. 21, 2022.

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

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

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

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

This third stage of renewable energy procurement is open to bids from energy developers locally and globally. The first projects are expected to come online no later than the end of 2027. Hawaiian Electric is asking developers to submit their proposals to achieve the earliest commercial operations date to achieve urgent reliability needs, especially for the firm renewable capacity. The proposed timeline for proposals is:

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