- Hawaiian Electric Co. has sent six power purchase agreements for new solar projects on Oahu to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission for approval, Pacific Business News reports.
- Together, the projects total 207 megawatts of generation. Because the average price of the electricity from the new solar is $0.14 per kilowatt-hour, well below the avoided cost of electricity generation from fossil fuels, PUC assent is expected.
- Adding in another 15 megawatt solar project submitted to the PUC in October, this brings the amount of new utility scale solar contracted for Oahu to 222 megawatts, over 10% of the island’s existing 2,060 megawatt installed large-scale and rooftop solar capacity. The 6 newest projects comprise the most renewable energy the power provider has contracted for at one time.
The newest projects include Forest City's 20-megawatt Hoohana Solar project, First Wind's 49-megawatt Kawailoa Solar, its 15-megawatt Lanikuhana Solar, and its 46-megawatt Waiawa PV. They also include Eurus Energy America's 28-megawatt Waianae Solar and SunEdison's 50-megawatt Waiawa Solar.
The previously proposed project was NextEra Energy's 15-megawatt Ka La Nui Solar.
Together, they are a step toward achieving HECO's recently announced long term goals of tripling solar capacity and obtaining 67% of its power from renewables by 2030.
HECO parent Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI) is being acquired by NextEra Energy in a $4.3 billion deal.
Because Hawaii’s electricity price is higher than the cost of solar plus storage, the utility’s solar penetration is already over 10%, far higher than any other service territory in the U.S.
The nearly 20% solar penetration in some locations has caused state-wide interconnection problems and pushed HECO to become a national example of how not to grow solar.
It is thought NextEra is acquiring HEI to use Hawaii to test solar grid integration solutions it can profit from as U.S. solar penetration rises.