Hawaiian Electric seeking proposals for firm renewable energy on Oahu

Draft Request for Proposals outlines community benefits requirements

Release Date: 3/2/2022

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HONOLULU, March 2, 2022 - To help achieve the state’s clean energy goals, Hawaiian Electric filed a draft Request for Proposals for firm renewable energy procurement for Oahu.

Firm renewable energy differs from intermittent resources such as solar and wind in that it is available for use at all times, except when undergoing maintenance. It has been an important part of Hawaiian Electric's plans dating back to its 2016 Power Supply Improvement Plan.

Hawaiian Electric will be seeking proposals to acquire 500 to 700 megawatts of energy from firm renewable generation resources. Examples of firm renewable technology include geothermal, waste-to-energy, green hydrogen, biomass and projects using renewable fuels such as biodiesel.

“This is an important step toward reaching the state's renewable energy goals,” said Rebecca Dayhuff Matsushima, Hawaiian Electric vice president of resource procurement. “While solar and wind energy resources will help us hit our near-term clean energy milestones, we’ll also need firm renewable resources available for customers when the sun isn’t shining or the wind isn’t blowing.”

In response to input from communities, the Oahu Renewable Firm RFP will for the first time require a community benefits package to be submitted as part of a project proposal. The proposed requirement obligates developers to provide funding to a to-be-determined nonprofit on an annual basis. Area community organizations would be able to apply for grants from the nonprofit for community projects benefitting the host community.

Because this is the first time for this requirement, Hawaiian Electric is specifically seeking feedback on this requirement from communities and other stakeholders during this stakeholder engagement period to further refine the requirement.

Hawaiian Electric hosted a virtual community meeting last week to seek public input prior to filing the draft RFP. A recording of the event is available here.

While new projects are being sought, proposals also will be accepted from existing firm generation projects for new terms after conversion to using renewable fuels. If approved, the projects are expected to come online by 2029 and 2033. The timeline for proposals, subject to PUC approval, is:

Milestone Schedule Dates
Technical Status Conference March 14, 2022
Parties and Participants file Comments by April 4, 2022
PUC Review and Order to Release RFP May 9, 2022
Proposed Final RFP filed by May 31, 2022
Final RFP Approved and issued by June 30, 2022
Hawaiian Electric Proposal Due Date Sept. 29, 2022, at 2 p.m. HST
IPP and Affiliate Proposal Due Date Sept. 30, 2022, at 2 p.m. HST
Selection of Priority List Dec. 16, 2022
Hawaiian Electric Best and Final Offers Due Jan. 6, 2023
IPP and Affiliate Best and Final Offers Due Jan. 7, 2023