Results tagged “Hawaii” from GTH Energy & Natural Resources Law Blog

Hawaii Electric Issues RFP to Jump-Start Renewables on Oahu

February 26, 2013

On February 22, Hawaii Electric issued an RFP for renewable energy projects with a nameplate capacity of 5 MW or more. As previously discussed here, Hawaii is a particularly attractive market for renewable energy developers because Hawaii has by far the highest cost for conventional energy of any state, well above the cost of solar installations even if tax credits and other incentives are not considered.

Apparently recognizing that renewable developers have become frustrated with the long delay in issuing a final version of its draft RFP for renewables and undersea cable development -- issued in draft form last September -- the new RFP seeks to expedite approval of projects that are in the pipeline. In particular, the new RFP promises to seek a waiver from the Hawaii PUC's Competitive Bidding Framework, which would otherwise apply to projects of this size, if power can be brought on line quickly. Specifically, the RFP seeks:

1) power from sources that qualifying under Hawaii's Renewable Portfolio Standard with a nameplate capacity of at least 5 MW;

2) located on Oahu;

3) at a price that will provide "an attractive reduction in costs" for Hawaiian ratepayers; and,

4) that can be brought on line no later than the end of 2015.

Winning bidders will be required to enter into RFPs for a term of 20-25 years. Response to the RFP are due on March 22, 2013.

Hawaii Electric also plans to move forward with a final version of the RFP for renewables and undersea cable. The company indicates it plans to issue that RFP in the second quarter of this year.

If you have any questions about the RFP or other matters discussed in this post, please contact a member of GTH's Energy, Telecommunications, and Utilities practice group.

Maui County Issues RFP for Waste-to-Energy Plant

November 25, 2012

Maui County has issued an RFP for construction of a waste-to-energy facility. Bids are due on January 16, 2013, at 4 PM. Maui County (which includes the island of Maui plus the surrounding islands of Molokai, Lanai, and Kaho'olawe) would guarantee a stream of municipal solid waste and sewage sludge to power the facility.

As noted in our post of November 8, Hawaii is a particularly fertile market for renewable energy because of persistent high electricity prices, Hawaii's dependence on imported fossil fuels to produce most of its electricity, and strong state policies favoring the development of renewable energy. In addition, limited land and the prospect of a long and expensive sea voyage make disposal of municipal solid waste a particular problem for Hawaii. Advanced waste-to-energy technologies appear to be an ideal solution to both problems.

If you have any questions about the Maui County RFP, or any other matters concerning development of renewable energy, please contact a member of GTH's Energy, Telecommunications and Utilities practice group or Environment & Natural Resources practice group. These practice groups were recently recognized as among the best in the nation. In addition, GTH Partner Jim Horne is licensed to practice in Hawaii.

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.

Paradise for Renewables: Hawaiian Solar Schools RFP and Hawaii's Huge Renewable Potential

November 8, 2012

The combination of tropical sun, pleasant trade winds, spectacular geography, and a warm Polynesian culture makes Hawaii a paradise for visitors. But, for some of these same reasons, Hawaii is also a paradise for renewable energy development. An abundance of renewable resources like sun, wind, and geothermal heat, combined with by far the highest electric rates in the nation -- well above "grid parity" -- make Hawaii a premiere market for renewable energy developers.

Recognizing that its continued reliance on expensive, imported oil to generate most of the state's electricity is an economic Achille's heel, the transition to renewable energy has become a high priority of Hawaiian government. Hawaii's commitment to renewables was demonstrated most recently in last week's announcement from Hawaii's Department of Education that it will install solar panels on all 256 public schools in the state over the next five years. In order to address the challenges of financing such an ambitious goal, the plan calls for the solar panels to be owned and financed by the developer, with the schools purchasing the output of the solar panels under a long-term power purchase agreement. Hawaii anticipates that the plan will not only reduce the cost of power its schools by several million dollars a year, but could produce tens of millions of dollars in new revenue as excess power is sold on the local grid.

Similarly, Hawaiian Electric Company has a draft RFP for renewable energy in process, and is expected to issue a final RFP early next year.

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