NRG, Hawaiian Electric strike deals to revive stalled SunEdison solar farms

Dive Brief:

  • NRG Energy and Hawaiian Electric Co. (HECO) have reached deals on power purchase agreements for two solar farms on Oahu formerly owned by bankrupt renewable energy firm SunEdison.

  • The 14.7 MW Lanikuhana solar plant will provide electricity at $0.114/kWh and the 45.9 MW Waipio solar plant will provide electricity at $0.104/kWh, inclusive of the state tax credit.

  • NRG and HECO are also working toward a PPA for the 49 MW Kawailoa solar farm also on Oahu. All three projects are due online in 2019.

Dive Insight:

SunEdison’s bankruptcy last spring put a lot of renewable energy assets on the market, and NRG was able to buy 2,100 MW of the company's renewable assets for $144 million.

The deal included three projects that SunEdison was developing on Oahu. SunEdison had PPAs for the projects, but they were cancelled by HECO after SunEdison declared bankruptcy.

HECO says the negotiated prices in the new 22-year PPAs are lower than the SunEdison agreements, which were both at about $0.135/kWh.

The PPAs with NRG still must be approved by Hawaii Public Utilities Commission.

“There’s room for these three projects [and the recently completed] Eurus Energy [project in Waianae],” Randy Iwase, chairman of the PUC, told Pacific Business News. “After that, not sure. We have to see if there’s more room on the grid,” he said, adding that there also should be room for community renewable projects.

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Filed Under: Solar & Renewables Distributed Energy Regulation & Policy
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