Media release by HELCO
(Hilo, Hawaii) Hawaii Electric Light Company today issued a Geothermal Request for Proposals (Geothermal RFP). The company is seeking to add up to 50 megawatts (MW) of geothermal energy from geothermal resource developers 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.
“Moving forward on geothermal is important to Hawaii Island because we want to increase our use of renewable energy and bring down costs to our customers, while also ensuring reliable service,” said Jay Ignacio, Hawaii Electric Light Company president. “At the same time, we are pursuing bidders who are committed to thoroughly addressing environmental, community and cultural concerns.”
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.
At a technical conference webinar in December, the company and the Independent Observer reviewed the draft with interested parties and potential bidders, who provided comments. HELCO worked with Boston Pacific Company to develop the Final Geothermal RFP. The RFP, key filings and documents, and a project schedule can be found on the HELCO website at http://geothermalrfp.helcohi.com.
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.
Bidders are required to submit a Notice of Intent to bid on March 7, 2013. Bids are due on April 30, 2013. Hawaii Electric Light Company expects to make a selection 120 days after the bids are due.
More than 40 percent of electricity on Hawaii Island is already generated from renewable resources, including hydro, wind, distributed solar and geothermal.