To help achieve Hawaii’s renewable energy goals, Hawaiian Electric recently sought out landowners to determine their willingness to host renewable energy projects. As a result of that effort, the utility company says it has compiled a list of potential sites that could be available to experienced developers, and Hawaiian Electric is getting ready to issue formal requests for proposals (RFPs) for renewable energy projects.
“By reaching out to potential developers and sharing information with them, we are helping landowners and developers get together to streamline the process of developing renewable energy projects. Together, we are all working toward achieving our state’s 100 percent renewable energy goal,” says Shelee Kimura, Hawaiian Electric senior vice president of strategic planning and business development.
Hawaiian Electric says it will require all developers to engage with communities near proposed renewable energy projects and solicit public input before developers can negotiate a final agreement with the utility company. All agreements will require approval of the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC).
Hawaii has the nation’s most ambitious clean energy goal, requiring 100% of electricity sales to come from renewable resources by 2045. By December 2016, Hawaiian Electric, including its Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light subsidiaries, achieved nearly 26% of the state’s renewable energy mandate across the five islands served. Hawaii Island, for example, has the state’s highest level of renewables, at 54%. With new developer agreements recently approved by regulators, it is expected more than 80% of the electricity used by Hawaii Electric Light customers will come from renewable sources by 2020.
Hawaiian Electric says it is now moving even more assertively to encourage renewable project development while federal tax incentives that can lower prices for customers are available. The company has requested PUC approval to start the regulated procurement process and expects soon to issue formal RFPs for developers to propose grid-scale projects.
When contacting Hawaiian Electric, developers must sign a non-disclosure agreement and provide information to demonstrate experience and capability in completing renewable projects. For information, go to hawaiianelectric.com/landrfi or email firstname.lastname@example.org.