Utility “disappointed” project will not proceed
PUNA, Hawaii – Ormat has withdrawn from contract negotiations to provide 25 megawatts of additional geothermal energy on the Big Island, the Hawaii Electric Light Company announced today.
Ormat was selected on February 24, 2015 following a competitive bid on the utility’s Request for Proposal (RFP) “based on their ability to meet price levels and performance standards”, according to HELCO. Contract negotiations began shortly after.
“Our primary goal for the RFP was to obtain geothermal energy that could significantly lower the overall cost to our customers while maintaining overall system reliability,” said Jay Ignacio, Hawai‘i Electric Light Company president, in a media release. “We’re disappointed that Ormat decided not to proceed to develop the project.”
A large segment of the Puna community resisted the geothermal expansion from the beginning. In August 2013, hundreds marched from Pahoa to Hilo, demostrating outside the HELCO headquarters in opposition to the RFP.
HELCO says the company will “continue its efforts to increase cost-effective renewable energy, and is including geothermal in its analysis of potential future resource options as part of the update to its Power Supply Improvement Plans.”