Land, rooftops and even parking lots sought for renewable energy development

Smaller projects can help state’s economic recovery

Release Date: 6/15/2020

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HONOLULU, June 15, 2020 – In a new initiative that could aid economic recovery and the transition to clean energy, Hawaiian Electric is seeking information from owners of land or even large rooftops and parking lots on the islands of Oahu, Hawaii island, Maui, and Molokai that could be available for future renewable energy projects that will benefit all electric customers.

The request may be viewed and responded to at Responses are requested by July 12, 2020.

For the first time, Hawaiian Electric is seeking information on parcels as small as one acre and rooftops with at least 3,200 square feet of useable space for future development of grid-scale solar and wind projects and community solar projects. The location should be reasonably flat and sunny and can include open space of any kind, including large parking lots that could be covered with a shading roof of solar panels.

"Space is essential for developing renewable energy and obviously it's at a premium in Hawaii. That's why we'll need to use both open land and as many rooftops as available to reach our goals," said Jim Alberts, senior vice president of strategic planning and business development for Hawaiian Electric. "This could also aid economic recovery by providing income opportunities for land and building owners, by creating jobs and by lowering electric bills. By identifying potential sites, we hope to speed the process for both owners and prospective developers so these projects can be built."

To participate, owners of land or rooftops need only supply the TMK or address, size of the lot or rooftop and contact information to Hawaiian Electric by email as specified in the request for information. Hawaiian Electric will keep information confidential and only share it with prospective developers who agree not to further share the information.

All further contacts and negotiations, including payment for use of the space and other arrangements, will be private between the owner and a prospective developer. These developers will need to follow standard procedures to reach a power purchase agreement or community solar agreement with the company, including outreach to neighboring communities.

Creating renewable energy projects can contribute to the state's economic recovery from the COVID-19 emergency as well as help Hawaii reach its clean energy goals. Clean energy projects create jobs and public revenues as well as reduce electricity costs for all customers. Rooftop and community solar can also help customers reduce their household electricity bills.