Hawaiian Electric Companies (HECO) has submitted to state regulators its ‘Final Variable Renewable Dispatchable Generation Request For Proposals‘ (RFP), with unique power purchase agreements for wind and solar projects.
Three of the four utilities that comprise HECO participated in the RFP, representing service areas on O’ahu, Maui and the big island. These seek 220 megawatts (MW), 60 MW and 20 MW, respectively.
The RFP calls out energy storage as an option to be included in the proposal. Energy storage is fundamentally important for Hawaii right now. The state is one of four states where solar represents more than 10% of electricity generation, and has a particularly strong need to shift mid-day solar production to evening demand given its inability to export electricity to other states or island chains. This need will only grow as Hawaii moves towards its target to reach 100% renewable by 2040 having been finally approved.
In its adoption of energy storage paired with renewable energy, HECO is following in the footsteps of the public utility on the island of Kaua’i. AES recently broke ground on a 28MW solar pv+ 20MW/100MWh project on Kaua’i, one in a series of large solar projects which have been built on the island in the past few years which will bring Kaua’i isolated power grid to 34% solar power.
In addition to energy storage attention, the RFP also calls out a goal adding solar through 2022 in order to take advantage of the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC), with the goal being keeping end-user costs down.