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Hawaiian Electric Co. (HECO) has submitted to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) a draft request for proposals (RFP) for at least 200 MW of renewable energy projects.

The draft RFP, which is targeted to be finalized and issued by March 31, 2012, proposes the parameters for projects to deliver renewable energy to the Oahu grid no later than Dec. 31, 2018.

In accordance with PUC requirements, the RFP is open to any commercially viable renewable energy technology that can generate electricity on Oahu or on another island from where energy can reasonably be transmitted to Oahu via an undersea cable system.

HECO is seeking a total of 600 GWh to 800 GWh annually, which is equivalent to approximately 8% to 11% of the total annual electricity usage on Oahu.

For off-Oahu renewable energy to be delivered to the Oahu grid, HECO is also seeking proposals for an inter-island transmission cable system, interconnection facilities and other power transmission infrastructure. According to the draft, bidders may submit proposals for an independent undersea cable system or an undersea cable system together with renewable energy generation.

To provide the basis for evaluating all proposals on a competitive basis, any proposal for renewable energy to be generated off Oahu must include or be partnered with a proposed undersea cable system. The cable transmission capacity also would serve the proposed Lanai wind farm being developed by Castle & Cooke. HECO and Castle & Cooke have reached a preliminary agreement for the Lanai wind farm, but a power purchase agreement must still be negotiated and submitted to the PUC for review and approval.

The draft RFP will be reviewed by the PUC, the state consumer advocate, prospective bidders and other parties wishing to comment. The PUC is expected to appoint an independent observer to oversee the competitive bidding process.

Prospective bidders are asked to submit a notice of intent by Nov. 4 in order to participate in an RFP review. HECO aims to issue a final RFP by March 2012, with proposals due four months later.


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