Hawaiian Electric requests approval to move forward with 15-megawatt solar energy project

  Hawaiian Electric requests approval to move forward with 15-megawatt solar
                                energy project

PR Newswire

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
Station.

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
year.

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
per kWh.

"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
residents."

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
         darren.pai@hawaiianelectric.com
For institutional investor inquiries:
Contact: Shelee Kimura, (808) 543-7384
         skimura@hei.com

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110411/LA80136LOGO)

SOURCE Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc.

Website: http://www.hei.com
 
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.