Hawaiian Electric Companies seek to connect renewable energy developers with landowners

Release Date: 8/2/2017

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HONOLULU, Aug. 2, 2017 - To help achieve Hawaii's renewable energy goals, the Hawaiian Electric Companies recently sought out landowners to determine their willingness to host renewable energy projects.

As a result of that effort, Hawaiian Electric has compiled a list of potential sites that could be available to experienced developers of renewable energy projects.

"By reaching out to potential developers and sharing information with them, we are helping landowners and developers get together to streamline the process of developing renewable energy projects. Together, we are all working toward achieving our state's 100 percent renewable energy goal," said Shelee Kimura, Hawaiian Electric senior vice president of strategic planning and business development.

Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light will require all developers to engage with communities near proposed renewable energy projects and solicit public input before developers can negotiate a final agreement with the utility. All agreements will require approval of the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission.

Hawaii has the nation's most ambitious clean energy goal, requiring 100 percent of electricity sales to come from renewable resources by 2045. By December 2016, the companies achieved nearly 26 percent of the state's renewable energy mandate across the five islands served. Hawaii Island, for example, has the state's highest level of renewables at 54 percent. With new developer agreements recently approved by regulators, it is expected more than 80 percent of the electricity used by Hawaii Electric Light customers will come from renewable sources by 2020.

The companies are now moving even more assertively to encourage renewable project development while federal tax incentives that can lower prices for customers are available.

To reach 100 percent, Hawaii will need a broad mix of clean resources. Private rooftop solar, energy storage, and electricity-use management (also known as efficiency and demand response) will increasingly be options for individual customers. Grid-scale projects are still essential to complement these choices to provide power reliability and ensure all customers benefit from renewable energy.

The companies have requested Public Utilities Commission approval to start the regulated procurement process and expect soon to issue formal requests for proposals for developers to propose grid-scale projects.

When contacting Hawaiian Electric, developers must sign a non-disclosure agreement and provide information to demonstrate experience and capability in completing renewable projects. For information, go to hawaiianelectric.com/landrfi or email landrfi@hawaiianelectric.com.