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Shared solar project proposals sought to benefit low-, moderate-income customers on Oahu, Maui, Hawaii Island
Release Date: 3/22/2022
HONOLULU, March 22, 2022 – Hawaiian Electric is seeking project proposals to provide customers with low- and moderate-incomes (LMI) on Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii Island the opportunity to participate in a shared solar program (also called community-based renewable energy or CBRE). This Request for Proposals provides exclusive opportunities for low- and moderate-income families to realize the benefits of participating in our transition to a renewable energy future.
Shared solar aims to lower participants’ energy bills, while helping to reduce the use of imported fossil fuels and cut carbon emissions. The program provides a way for customers, such as renters, apartment residents, small business owners and organizations unable to install privately-owned rooftop solar, to benefit from solar electricity generated on their island.
As approved by the Public Utilities Commission, the CBRE LMI request for proposals for Oahu, Maui and Hawaii Island is open until May 17, 2022, at 2 p.m. HST. Developers, companies, organizations, or groups authorized to do business in Hawaii can submit proposals to develop shared solar projects. The organization’s proposal then undergoes an evaluation process for its proposed project(s). Organizations whose proposals are selected are then considered a “subscriber organization”. Details are at hawaiianelectric.com/LMICBRERFP. Information on applying to become a subscriber organization is available at hawaiianelectric.com/sharedsolar.
When a subscriber organization proposing a shared solar facility is approved, customers on the island where the project will be located may become “subscribers” to that facility by applying directly to the subscriber organization. Once the project is built and online, subscribers may receive credits on their monthly electricity bill based on the output of the project and their level of participation.
Development of the LMI shared solar RFP involved feedback from communities and stakeholders on Oahu, Maui and Hawaii Island. This included community meetings that resulted in Hawaiian Electric adding new criteria that gives higher scoring to projects proposed on land zoned commercial or industrial, prioritizing residential subscribers on a proximity basis to the shared solar project, and updating criteria to encourage subscriber organizations to use local labor and pay prevailing wages. Proposals must also include additional post-selection activities for any cultural resource impacts and requirements for continued community outreach and engagement.
A separate request for proposals for additional shared solar projects on Oahu, Maui and Hawaii Island (Tranche 1) will be opened on April 14, 2022. Although low- and moderate-income components will not be required in Tranche 1, it will be incentivized. Updates will be available at hawaiianelectric.com/Tranche1CBRERFP.