During the next decade, Hawaiian Electric intends to expand the availability of renewable energy sources on the Big Island, according to the company. Hawai’i Electric Company has submitted a request for proposals to buy new renewable energy projects, marking the start of the third phase of an overall initiative to obtain renewable energy that, when finished, will create approximately 203 megawatts of clean power on Big Island.
An extensive range of projects, including stand-alone renewable energy generation projects, stand-alone energy storage programs, projects incorporating both energy generation and storage elements, as well as distributed energy generation projects like customer-sited solar power, are sought in the RFP. But the RFP is not restricted to solar energy generation; it will examine any proposal that uses renewable resources, from solar energy to biofuels, as long as it is environmentally friendly.
On the Big Island, four projects with a combined capacity of roughly 132 megawatts (MW) were approved in the first two rounds of the procurement project’s first two phases. With this third stage, Hawaiian Electric aims to generate 95 MW of the power generation — sufficient to power 34,000 average families — as well as nearly 206-gigawatt hours of energy storage each year, which is equivalent to the electricity needs of 34,000 average households.
All projects must be erected on the east side of the island in order to be eligible for the RFP, which Hawaiian Electric defines as the area south of the switching facility in Pepeekeo, north of a switching facility in Puna, and east of the switching facility in Kaumana. Submissions must also be operational by December 1, 2030, in order to be considered. Proposals must be submitted by May 17, 2022, unless otherwise specified.
Jennifer Zelko-Schlueter, Hawaiian Electric’s Big Island Director in charge of the Government and Community Affairs, stated in a statement that “community engagement is crucial as we work together to determine our island’s energy future.” “We respect your feedback and invite you to participate in and contribute your voice to such important dialogues regarding projects that may have an impact on you.” A community meeting provides you with the opportunity to understand more about a program, ask questions, and gain a better understanding of energy policy and procedure. It also provides us with an opportunity to better understand your point of view and hear your suggestions for solutions that are both inclusive and equitable.”