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Hawaiian Electric submits eight contracts for new solar and storage projects

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Hawaiian Electric has submitted eight contracts for new grid-scale renewable energy and storage projects on Oahu and Maui to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for review and approval.

The six projects on Oahu and two on Maui are part of the largest renewable energy procurement ever for Hawaii. If approved and completed, the combined projects are expected to, on average, lower electric bills by about $1 a month on Oahu and Maui.

The Oahu projects are expected to provide generation and storage needed to retire the state’s only coal plant, the 180-megawatt (MW) plant at Campbell Industrial Park owned by AES, by September 2022.

On Maui, the completion of renewable energy projects will help enable the retirement of the 38 MW oil-fired Kahului plant in 2024.

These projects were part of the second phase of Hawaiian Electric’s renewable procurement effort that started in February 2018. Three of the original projects withdrew and contracts for three other projects are still being negotiated with Hawaiian Electric.

“As planned, these projects will significantly advance our state’s renewable energy transformation and benefit everyone by reducing our exposure to volatile oil prices.”

Jim Alberts, Hawaiian Electric senior vice president of business development and strategic planning.

In addition to the projects planned by independent developers, Hawaiian Electric plans to build two standalone energy storage projects, one on Maui and one on Hawaii Island. Those projects were submitted earlier to the PUC for review and approval.

The eight contracts submitted for regulatory review represent nearly 300 MW of new renewable generation and about 2,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of storage. If completed on schedule in 2022 and 2023, they are estimated to add approximately 9 percentage points to the renewable portfolio on the five islands served by Hawaiian Electric.

Anela Dokso

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