(Hilo, Hawaii) Hawaii Electric Light Company today filed a proposed final Geothermal Request for Proposals (Geothermal RFP) with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC). The company is seeking approval to issue the 50 megawatt (MW) Geothermal RFP and commence the bidding process for potential geothermal resource developers.
“This is a significant next step toward adding more renewable energy and lowering costs for our customers,” said Jay Ignacio, Hawaii Electric Light Company president. “As an important part of the process, we must ensure any project thoroughly addresses environmental and cultural concerns from our community.”
A draft Geothermal RFP was issued in early November 2012. The PUC also selected an Independent Observer, Boston Pacific Company, to monitor and advise on all steps of the competitive bidding process to ensure that the process is fair and adheres to the PUC Framework for Competitive Bidding.
Following a technical conference webinar in December to review the draft with interested parties and potential bidders, the company and the Independent Observer reviewed and addressed those comments in the proposed final Geothermal RFP.
Hawaii Electric Light Company is seeking to add up to 50 MW of geothermal power at prices not tied to the cost of oil to help lower electricity costs for customers. The added power must also blend operationally with other resources, including renewable energy from wind, solar, biomass and hydro.
The Geothermal RFP is pursuing geothermal technologies that provide renewable dispatchable energy and firm capacity, to allow the utility to schedule and control output from the geothermal plant. This will support HELCO’s integration of intermittent renewable resources such as wind or solar while maintaining reliable service for Hawaii Island customers.
Once a final RFP is approved by the PUC, the company will issue the RFP, opening up the process for bidders, who will have 60 days to respond. Hawaii Electric Light Company expects to make a selection 120 days after the bids are due.
Additional information, including the complete proposed schedule, may be found at geothermalrfp.helcohi.com
More than 40 percent of electricity on Hawaii Island is already generated from renewable resources, including hydro, wind, distributed solar and geothermal.