Hawaiian Electric Co. is seeking approval for six, new solar projects on Oahu that have been waived from the competitive bidding process.

These projects, combined with a prior contract signed with NextEra Energy, which is in the process of buying the electric utility, total 222 megawatts, according to a HECO press release.

The projects, if approved by the Public Utilities Commission, will be sited in Waipahu, Waialua, Mililani, Waianae, Waipio and Waiawa.

HECO solar waiver projects

Solar projects submitted to the PUC for review.

HECO

“Our companies have never before signed agreements for this much new renewable energy at one time,” Shelee Kimura, a HECO vice president, said in a press release. “This is a significant step toward transforming the generation portfolio on Oahu to achieve our aggressive, low-cost clean energy goals we put forth to the PUC in August.”

The average price of the seven, solar projects is 14 cents per kilowatt-hour, or about 11 percent below the current cost of generating electricity from oil, according to HECO.

HECO submitted a contract with NextEra to the PUC in October for a 15-mw solar farm in Waianae, which is still awaiting PUC approval.

All of the solar farms are in response to a HECO invitation to developers for low-cost renewable energy proposals. The PUC granted HECO’s request to waive the projects from the competitive bidding process, allowing the utility to move more expeditiously in acquiring clean energy.

The utility-scale solar projects represent a significant portion of Oahu’s present generation capacity of 1800 megawatts. HECO also has 260 megawatts of rooftop solar.

 

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