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Hawaii's largest renewable energy push detailed in new power procurement plan

In the United States (US), Hawaiian Electric Companies' largest-ever renewable energy push can now be viewed online. With the successful acquisition of a variety of clean energy technologies over the next five years, this ambitious effort will enable the companies to continue providing service after the closure of the largest fossil fuel plant on Oahu and the retirement of Maui's oldest oil-fired plant. Pending approval, the first projects would come online in 2022.

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Hawaiian Electric Companies’ have published its largest-ever renewable energy push. With the successful acquisition of a variety of clean energy technologies over the next five years, this ambitious effort will enable the companies to continue providing reliable service after the closure of the largest fossil fuel plant on Oahu and the retirement of Maui’s oldest oil-fired plant. Pending approval, the first projects would come online in 2022.

Upon approval by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC), expected this summer, this second phase of renewable energy procurement will be opened to bids from developers locally and globally. Pending approval, the first projects would come online in 2022.

Estimated targets of new renewable generation of various technologies are the equivalent of 594 MW of solar for Oahu; 135 MW for Maui and 32 to 203 MW for Hawaii Island, depending on whether other renewable energy projects become available. Proposals for Molokai and Lanai will be sought later this summer.

Largest procurement

The approximately 900 MW of new renewables to be sought – generating about 2 TWh annually – would be among the largest single procurement efforts undertaken by a US utility. In addition to variable renewable generation, with or without energy storage, this second phase will be open to standalone storage and grid services that help system operators manage the reliability of modern electric grids with diverse, dynamic inputs and outputs.

These draft proposals are the result of extensive consultation led by the PUC with the participation of the Hawaiian Electric Companies, the Consumer Advocate, and other stakeholders.

We’ve attempted to develop a competitive bidding plan that addresses concerns of all stakeholders while maintaining a fair process to reach our aggressive clean energy goals. Among our guiding principles are that transparency, predictability and streamlining lower costs to customers and that community engagement is essential to success, said Jim Alberts, Senior Vice President for Business Development and Strategic Planning. Hawaiian Electric.

Replace fossil generating assets

For Oahu, new projects are needed to replace the 180 MW coal-fired AES Hawaii plant in Campbell Industrial Park due to close by September 2022. It is the largest single generator on Oahu, meeting 16 percent of peak demand. For Maui, the generation and storage are needed for the planned retirement of Kahului Power Plant by the end of 2024.

For Hawaii Island, additional renewable generation is sought even assuming the Puna Geothermal Venture plant returns to service and the Hu Honua biomass plant comes online as planned.

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