Harnessing Pele's Fire: Hawaiian Electric Issues Draft RFP For Geothermal Energy

November 13, 2012

In traditional Hawaiian religion, Pele is the Goddess of volcanoes. Her frequent eruptions are said to be a sign of Pele's longing for her true love. It is not surprising that Pele plays an important role in Hawaiian traditions. The Hawaiian islands are a string of volcanoes that emerged from the sea and the Big Island is one of the most active volcanic regions in the world. Hawaii is now seeking to harness the enormous power of its volancoes.

Consistent with both economic pressures and public policies favoring rapid expansion of renewable resources, as detailed in our post of November 8, Hawaii Electric Light Co. on November 9 submitted a draft RFP for 50 MW of geothermal power to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission. A technical conference on the draft RFP is tentatively scheduled for December 5, which comments to the HPUC due two weeks thereafter. A final RFP is likely in early 2013, with the aim of having final bids submitted in the spring of 2013 and having a final PPA in place in early 2014.

If you have any questions about HELCO's draft RFP proposal, or any other matters concerning development of renewable energy, please contact a member of GTH's Energy, Telecommunications and Utilities practice group. We have years of experience in renewable energy development, the utility industry, and related areas such as environmental regulation. In addition, GTH Partner Jim Horne is licensed to practice in Hawaii.