Hawaiian Electric requests approval to move forward with 15-megawatt solar
HONOLULU, Oct. 24, 2013
HONOLULU, Oct. 24, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- As part of its commitment to bring
more low-cost clean energy online, Hawaiian Electric Company, subsidiary of
Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. (NYSE: HE), has filed a request with the
Hawaii Public Utilities Commission to proceed with the development of a
15-megawatt photovoltaic system on undeveloped land at the Kahe Generating
Developing the project on land owned by Hawaiian Electric helps to reduce the
cost to customers. Based on preliminary estimates, the project, over its
lifespan, would reduce the overall cost of generating electricity on Oʻahu by
$64 million while displacing approximately 1.8 million gallons of oil per
This level of savings is equivalent to a 20-year power purchase agreement with
a price of 14.5 cents per kilowatt-hour. That is significantly less than the
cost of using oil to produce power, which is currently estimated at 22.7 cents
"This is a unique opportunity that benefits our customers because it allows us
to quickly develop more low-cost clean energy," said Ron Cox, Hawaiian
Electric vice president of power supply.
SolarCity, with local operations in Mililani, was selected through a
competitive procurement process to construct the 50-acre PV project. Hawaiian
Electric would own and operate the system.
"Hawaiian Electric's project is proof that solar power can protect Hawaiʻi's
environment and strengthen its economy at the same time by providing clean
energy less expensively than power generated from fossil fuels," said Jon
Yoshimura, SolarCity's regional director in Hawaiʻi. "The SolarCity team in
Mililani is honored to be selected for this project and we're excited to work
with Hawaiian Electric to deliver more clean, homegrown energy to Oʻahu
The project would include equipment for safe connection to the grid and would
directly connect at Hawaiian Electric's 46 kilovolt substation at Kahe power
plant. As a result, it will not currently impact residential or commercial
customers who wish to install PV systems on their rooftops, which connect
through Hawaiian Electric's 12 kV distribution system.
The request filed by Hawaiian Electric asks the PUC to grant a waiver from
competitive bidding for projects larger than 5 MW. A waiver would allow
customers to more quickly benefit from more low-cost renewable energy and
reduce project costs by enabling Hawaiian Electric to use federal tax credits,
which could be reduced or eliminated. Pending regulatory approval and the
completion of necessary environmental and cultural reviews, the system is
expected to be operational by the end of 2015.
This project is Hawaiian Electric's latest effort to lower bills for
customers, improve service, and develop more low-cost clean energy resources.
Other recent actions include:
oPursuing, pending Public Utilities Commission approval, five new low-cost
renewable energy projects on O'ahu – including four solar farms and one
wind farm – with a combined capacity of 64 MW
oContinuing to help customers install PV projects (through September 2013,
there were more than 35,000 installed PV systems across the companies'
service territories with a combined capacity of approximately 260 MW)
oPlanning the deactivation of older, less efficient utility generating
units on O'ahu, Maui and Hawai'i Island for a combined 226 MW – about 14
percent of generation owned by the utilities
oWorking with the State of Hawaiʻi and other stakeholders to pursue cleaner
and lower-cost liquefied natural gas to replace more expensive petroleum
fuels in our generating units
Contact: Darren Pai, (808) 543-7753
For institutional investor inquiries:
Contact: Shelee Kimura, (808) 543-7384
SOURCE Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc.
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