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Hawaiian Electric to usher in more renewable energy options

Hawaiian Electric has plans for more renewable energy options to be available on the Big Island within the next decade.

On Friday, Hawaiian Electric filed a request for proposal to acquire new renewable energy projects, beginning the third phase of a greater renewable energy procurement project that will, when completed, generate up to 203 megawatts of clean power on the Big Island.

The RFP seeks a wide variety of projects, including standalone renewable generation projects, standalone energy storage projects, projects including energy generation and storage elements or distributed energy generation projects such as customer-sited solar power. However, the RFP is not limited to solar generation, but will consider any project using renewable resources from solar energy to biofuels.

The first two phases of the procurement project approved four projects on the Big Island that proposed to generate approximately 132 MW of power. With this third phase, Hawaiian Electric hopes to add 95 MW of power generation — enough to power 34,000 average households — and up to 206 gigawatt hours of energy storage per year.

In order to qualify for the RFP, all projects must be constructed on the eastside of the island — which Hawaiian Electric broadly defines as south of the switching station in Pepeekeo, north of the switching station in Puna and east of the switching station in Kaumana. Proposals must also be operational no later than Dec. 1, 2030.

The deadline for submitting proposals is May 17, 2022. An online public informational hearing about the process will be held at at 5:30 p.m Oct. 28. Participants can submit questions on Hawaiian Electric’s Facebook page or submit them ahead of time to hawaiirenewablerfp@hawaiianelectric.com.

“Community engagement is important as we work together to shape our island’s energy future,” Jennifer Zelko-Schlueter, Hawaiian Electric’s Big Island Director of Government and Community affairs, said in a statement. “We value your input and encourage you to get involved and lend your voice to these important conversations about projects that may impact you. A community meeting allows you to learn more about a project, ask questions, and understand energy policy and process. It also gives us an opportunity to understand your perspective and listen to your ideas about solutions that are inclusive and fair.”

Email Michael Brestovansky at mbrestovansky@hawaiitribune- herald.com.
Source: Hawaii Tribune Herald

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