Hawaiian Electric to Host Virtual Meetings

March 28, 2020, 9:22 AM HST · Updated March 28, 9:22 AM
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PC: Hawaiian Electric Companies

Hawaiian Electric will host virtual community meetings to seek public input on the utility’s five proposed battery energy storage systems (BESS).

The company is proposing two self-build projects on Oʻahu at Kahe Power Plant and on industrial land near Kalaeloa, one at Waena in Central Maui, and two on Hawaiʻi Island at Keahole Power Plant and Puna Generating Station. The projects made the first round of Hawaiian Electric’s request for proposals (RFP) for renewable energy and grid services issued in August 2019.

The virtual community meetings will be held online or televised, featuring a presentation about
the island-specific project(s) followed by live interaction between audiences and a host.

Maui: Wednesday, April 8, 5:30 p.m., Akakū Community TV Channel 54. Viewers may email
questions to [email protected] and receive live responses during the program.

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Oʻahu: Tuesday, April 14, 6 p.m., WebEx live meeting. To join the meeting, click here. Scroll to the O‘ahu projects, Virtual Public Meeting, and click on “Join the Meeting.” Participants can only register the day of the meeting. Viewers also can dial in to 1-408-418-9388 and enter meeting code 965 550 246. Viewer questions can be emailed to [email protected] or [email protected] during the live meeting.

Hawaiʻi Island: Wednesday, April 15, 5 p.m., Nā Leo TV Channel 53. Viewers may email questions to [email protected] or [email protected] prior to or during the
program.

“We know the community is dealing with a lot right now because of the pandemic, and there is
uncertainty on how long this will last. If we could postpone these meetings we would,” Hawaiian Electric director of generation project development Jack Shriver said in a press release.

“But, these potential projects are under a compressed schedule for permitting and construction. We want to give our communities an early opportunity to provide their feedback on our self-build proposals.”

Shriver added, “Like all developers, Hawaiian Electric’s self-build team must abide by the requirements in the RFP for transparency and community engagement. Our self-build team does not know what other developers are proposing because of the strict code of conduct that prohibits interactions with the team that is evaluating the RFP bids.”

On Maui, the proposed project is a 40 MW / 160 MWh BESS located on 65 acres in Waena near the Central Maui landfill. The project will enable the retirement of Kahului Power Plant in 2024. Comments on the proposed Maui BESS are being accepted through May 8, 2020.

On Oʻahu, Hawaiian Electric is proposing to build a 135-megawatt (MW) / 810 megawatt-hour (MWh) BESS at Kahe Power Plant and a 65 MW / 390 MWh BESS on industrial land near Kalaeloa. Together, these projects would help support the planned retirement of the 180 MW coal-fired AES power plant, which is due to close in 2022. Comments on the proposed projects are being accepted until May 14, 2020.

On Hawaiʻi Island, two projects are being proposed, including a 6 MW / 6 MWh BESS in Puna, and a 12 MW / 12 MWh BESS at Keahole Power Plant. Comments on the proposed projects are being accepted until May 15, 2020.

Under the Competitive Bidding Framework rules approved by the PUC, Hawaiian Electric may propose self-build projects – developed, constructed and owned by the utility – to meet generation and/or capacity needs across its service territories. To ensure all projects are treated fairly and equitably and will not interact to create problems on the grid, the Hawaiʻi Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has chosen independent observers and a technical adviser to oversee the process and proposals. If selected through the RFP process, Hawaiian Electric’s self-build projects would still require PUC approval.

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