Hawaiian Electric finalizes largest-ever renewables procurement

Source: By Robert Walton, Utility Dive • Posted: Friday, July 19, 2019

HECO’s 100% renewables goals stretch several islands and will require replacing a set of old and expensive fossil fuel-based resources that have been in service for decades. The finalized RFPs target Oahu, Maui and Hawaii Island; the utility says proposals for Molokai and Lanai will be sought later this summer.

“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,” HECO senior vice president Jim Alberts said in a statement.

The utility estimated it will need to acquire the equivalent of 594 MW of solar for Oahu, 135 MW for Maui and between 32 MW and 203 MW for Hawaii Island, “depending on whether other renewable energy projects become available.”

Along with the AES coal plant, the resources will be used to retire the oil-fired Kahului Power Plant on Maui by the end of 2024. Plans for Hawaii Island hinge on whether the Puna Geothermal Venture plant returns to service and the Hu Honua biomass plant comes online as planned, but HECO said it will add some renewable resources in either event.