HECO solicits green project
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Hawaiian Electric Co. is looking for developers to supply an additional 100 megawatts of renewable energy to Oahu's power grid starting between 2010 and 2012.
The proposed project, which would more than double the island's present renewable energy output, is part of the utility's efforts to diversify its renewable energy sources.
HECO names two likely sites for the potential power generation, the North Shore and the Kahe Point area, for their "exceptional" wind resources, but notes that other forms of renewable energy are eligible as well.
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Hawaiian Electric Co. is seeking developers to supply up to 100 megawatts of renewable energy to Oahu's power grid -- more than double its present renewable energy output.
The proposed project's output would place it just behind the Campbell Industrial Park biofuel plant, which will provide 110 megawatts when it starts operation in 2009. Oahu's H-POWER garbage-to-energy plant produces 46 megawatts of renewable energy.
The project is part of Hawaiian Electric's efforts to diversify renewable power sources, including biofuels, wind, solar and ocean energy, the company said yesterday. It also helps the utility meet a Hawaii law that requires 20 percent of net electricity sales come from renewable energy by 2020.
"We are committed to making that," said HECO spokesman Peter Rosegg. "The difficulty is of course the amount of electricity used goes up. You can't just run in place -- you have to sprint ahead every so often. This is our attempt to sprint ahead."
It is the first time HECO has opened up a competitive bidding process for renewable energy production, he said.
According to the utility's solicitation of interest dated Friday, the proposed project would be for the production of non-firm renewable energy starting between 2010 and 2012. The utility said it may consider proposals that will begin commercial operation as late as 2014. No HECO or HECO affiliate bid will be submitted for the project.
Resources eligible to meet the requirements for the proposal include wind, sun, geothermal and ocean currents and waves, the solicitation said. Proposals must use non-firm resources, which are often dependent on variations in environmental conditions, such as wind or water flow. Examples include wind turbines, hydroelectric turbines and photovoltaic systems.
The company names two likely sites for the potential power generation, which include the North Shore and the Kahe Point area for their "exceptional" wind resources. The project would be done with minimal changes to the company's infrastructure and may involve several bidders, Rosegg said.
The utility must get approval from the Public Utilities Commission before submitting a formal request for competitive bids. The commission has not decided whether a competitive bidding process should be used for the project, according to the solicitation of interest. If HECO's plans are approved, it will submit the formal request to the commission by the end of December, with a planned release to bidders by April. Winning bidders would be selected in April 2009.
Prospective bidders can visit http://generationbidding.heco.com for more information. A notice of interest must be submitted to HECO by Nov. 1.