January 6 (Renewables Now) - Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV) has agreed an amended power purchase agreement (PPA) with Hawaiian Electric, which includes an 8-MW expansion to the 38-MW geothermal plant on Hawaii Island.
PGV is owned by US-based Ormat Technologies Inc (NYSE:ORA).
In addition to the plant expansion, the new contract will see the utility pay a fixed rate to PGV, instead of the current one which is linked to oil prices.
Hawaiian Electric said last week that the new PPA needs to be reviewed and approved by the Public Utilities Commission, with which it has been filed on December 31. The new contract will replace the existing one when the plant expansion is completed in 2022 and would expire in 2052.
The PGV shut down the plant in Puna after the Kilauea Volcano erupted in May 2018. If the rebuilding of two transmission lines that would reconnect the facility to the grid is given the green light and other repair works also finish on schedule, PGV expects the plant would be operational later this year.
Once the additional 8 MW become operational, Hawaii Island's renewable energy share will reach almost 70%, according to Hawaiian Electric. In addition, the upgrade is expected to help lower typical residential bills by about USD 7.50 (EUR 6.70) a month in 2022 and almost USD 13 a month in 2023, based on present prices.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.894)