- Hawaiian Electric Co. (HECO) has contracted with FortisBC Energy, a subsidiary of Fortis, Inc., Canada’s biggest private distribution utility, to liquefy natural gas for delivery to the islands. The strategy is intended to relieve the price and emissions burdens of Hawaii’s dependence on oil and diesel products.
- HECO is now in negotiations with bidders on its requests-for-proposals for a natural gas supplier to the FortisBC facilities in British Columbia and a transporter for the LNG product, which has 600 times less volume than when it is in its gaseous state.
- The deal, which would deliver 800,000 tons of LNG per year to Hawaii for 15 years beginning in 2017, will require approval from the British Columbia Utilities Commission, the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, and federal regulators.
The FortisBC Tilbury Island plant can liquefy 120,000 cubic meters of natural gas per day and its 28,000 cubic meter tank stores enough natural gas to heat a community of 12,000 “for about 45 very cold days,” according to the company. LNG must be transported by special double-hulled shipping vessels.
HECO's LNG strategy aims to reduce the prohibitively high cost of electricity on the islands. The average residential electricity rate in the HECO Oahu service territory in 2013 was $0.346 per kilowatt-hour. For context, the average U.S. residential electricity price was $0.12 per kilowatt-hour.