Hawaiian Electric picks projects for 460 MW of solar, 3 GWh of storage

Hawaii solar farm by Eurus. Image by Eurus Energy (eurus-energy.com)

May 13 (Renewables Now) - Hawaiian Electric Company Inc has selected projects for the generation of 460 MW of solar power and close to 3 GWh of energy storage in the largest renewable energy procurement in Hawaii.

More specifically, the company has chosen 16 solar-plus-storage or standalone projects on Oahu, Maui and Hawaii Island as part of its transition to using 100% renewable power by 2045.

The winners on Oahu are eight solar-plus-storage projects and one standalone storage project with a combined capacity of 287 MW of generation and 1.8 GWh of storage. On Maui Island, there will be three solar-plus-storage projects and one standalone storage project totalling 100 MW of generation and 560 MWh of storage, while on Hawaii Island, two solar-plus-storage projects and one standalone storage project were awarded for a total generation of 72 MW and 492 MWh of storage.

Among the above-mentioned projects are two proposed by Hawaiian Electric itself -- a 40-MW/160-MWh standalone energy storage system on Maui and a 12-MW/12-MWh storage system on Hawaii Island. The company said it was unsuccessful with three other proposals. The state’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC) had appointed independent observers and a technical adviser to make sure that all offers were reviewed fairly and objectively, the statement says.

Hawaiian Electric noted that proposals for Molokai and Lanai have later deadlines and information for them will be published during the summer.

The next step in the process is to negotiate contracts with the developers of these projects, after which the PUC would have to approve said contracts, Hawaiian Electric explained.

The company pointed out that the winning schemes, if implemented, would increase the total solar capacity on the Hawaiian Electric system by more than 50%. It warned that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, delays in completing the projects are not ruled out. Still, currently it is expected that the first of these projects will be finalised in 2022.

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Ivan is the mergers and acquisitions expert in Renewables Now with a passion for big deals and ambitious capacity plans.

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