By Editors of Power Engineering
Hawaiian Electric Company’s application to buy renewable energy from three new solar facilities to be built and operated by NRG Energy, Inc. has been approved by the Hawaiʻi Public Utilities Commission. The projects, expected to be in service no later than the end of 2019, are:
· 49-MW Kawailoa Solar on Kamehameha Schools-owned land near Waialua will be the state’s largest solar facility. It will be adjacent to the 69-MW Kawailoa wind farm that has provided up to 10 percent of O‘ahu electricity needs since 2012. The facility will provide electricity equivalent to
· that used by 8,000 homes.
· 45.9-MW Waipio Solar near Waiawa will provide electricity equal to that used by 7,500 homes.
· 14.7-MW Lanikuhana Solar near Mililani will provide electricity equal to use by 2,400 homes.
On average, the electricity will be priced at 10.8 cents per kilowatt hour, one of the lowest renewable project costs in the state. Hawaiian Electric takes no mark-up or profit on electricity purchased from independent power producers. Together, the nearly 110 megawatts of solar generation will increase Hawaiian Electric’s renewable portfolio progress by 3 percentage points.
The three projects were originally proposed by SunEdison and were acquired by NRG in November 2016 during SunEdison’s bankruptcy proceedings. Hawaiian Electric had previously terminated its contracts for the projects due to SunEdison missing contract milestones. Once NRG acquired the projects, Hawaiian Electric negotiated new prices that are lower than those negotiated with SunEdison, with the savings to be passed on to customers.