Hawaiian Electric launches major push for next stage of renewable energy generation projects for Oahu, Maui

Proposals sought to boost clean energy transformation, grid reliability

Release Date: 5/4/2022

Download PDF

HONOLULU, May 4, 2022 – Hawaiian Electric has drafted requests for proposals (RFP) for potentially a broad array of renewable energy projects on Oahu and Maui that will enable the future retirement of generators that run on imported oil.

“Hawaiian Electric is excited to embark on this next round of renewable energy procurements, which seeks to enhance grid reliability and address climate change,” said Rebecca Dayhuff Matsushima, vice president of resource procurement for Hawaiian Electric. “We look forward to working with the community, our regulators and stakeholders to further refine the RFPs as we work together to replace fossil-fueled generation.”

Once the draft is approved by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), the company will seek proposals for a variety of renewable energy and capacity resources on Oahu and Maui that includes but is not limited to wind, solar, biomass and biofuels. Standalone energy storage proposals also will be accepted.

This draft RFP is unique in that it includes 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, this new procurement seeks to broaden the future generation mix to ensure the two islands have a diverse portfolio of generation resources.

For Oahu, Hawaiian Electric is seeking at least 475 gigawatt hours annually of variable renewable dispatchable energy to be in service by 2027. Dispatchable means the company controls when the resource is used – drawing energy from a battery storage system, for example. The company is also seeking 300 to 500 megawatts of renewable firm capacity to be in service by 2029, and 200 megawatts of renewable firm capacity to be in service by 2033.

For Maui, the company is seeking at least 180 gigawatt hours annually of renewable dispatchable energy and at least 40 megawatts of renewable firm capacity to be in service by 2027.

Hawaiian Electric will evaluate the proposals submitted in response to the Oahu and Maui RFPs to determine a final award group from which to begin contract negotiations.

Hawaiian Electric filed a draft of a renewable firm generation RFP specifically for Oahu in February. In order to streamline its procurement efforts, Hawaiian Electric has combined that RFP with a new RFP for renewable, dispatchable generation on Oahu.

Hawaiian Electric will host virtual public meetings to seek input on the draft RFP:

  • For Oahu, the meeting is 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 10. How to join:
  • For Maui, the meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 24.

Participants are encouraged to ask questions and provide feedback during the meetings. Questions can be sent in advance to oahurenewablerfp@hawaiianelectric.com for Oahu and mauirenewablerfp@hawaiianelectric.com for Maui. Both virtual events will be recorded. For more information go to hawaiianelectric.com/communitymeetings.

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 600 megawatts and roughly 3 gigawatt hours per year of energy storage are in development and expected to be in service by 2024.

Upon approval from the PUC, this third stage of renewable energy procurement will be open to bids from energy developers locally and globally. Pending approval by the PUC, the first projects are expected to come online no later than the end of 2027. The proposed timeline for proposals, subject to regulatory approval, is:

Event Date
Parties and Participants file Comments by June 2, 2022
Proposed Final RFP filed by July 18, 2022
Final RFP is issued August 31, 20221
IPP and Affiliate Proposal Due Date December 1, 2022
Selection of Priority List March 17, 2023
IPP and Affiliate Best and Final Offers Due April 4, 2023
Final Award Group Named August 4, 2023
Contract negotiations begin August 14, 2023

1 Dates in the proposed schedule are dependent on any further guidance provided by the PUC.