Hawaiian Electric is making a big push for the next generation of renewable energy ventures on Maui and Oahu, which might enable the islands to get rid of their imported oil generators. According to a news release sent by Hawaiian Electric on Wednesday, the business aims to have at least 180 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of renewable dispatchable energy and a minimum of 40 megawatts (MW) of renewable firm capacity operational on Maui by 2027.

Dispatchable means that the corporation has control over when the resource is used, such as when energy is drawn from a battery storage system. Hawaiian Electric has prepared RFPs (Request for Proposals) that, if granted by the federal Public Utilities Commission (PUC), will allow the business to seek a range of renewable power and capacity alternatives on both Maui and Oahu. Wind, solar, biomass, and biofuels are examples of renewable energy sources. Proposals for stand-alone energy storage will also be considered.

“Hawaiian Electric is delighted to begin this next wave of renewable energy procurements, that aims to improve grid stability while also addressing climate change,” said Rebecca Dayhuff Matsushima, Hawaiian Electric’s vice president of resource procurement. “As we work collaboratively to substitute fossil-fueled energy, we look forward to collaborating with the community, our regulators, and stakeholders to further improve the RFPs.”

Hawaiian Electric started the very first phase of the state’s largest renewable energy purchase project in 2018, with the aim of reaching 100% renewable energy by 2045. In 2019, the second phase began. According to the business, around 600 MW and approximately 3 GWh annually of energy storage are in progress and scheduled to be in operation by 2024.

According to the news announcement, Hawaiian Electric’s previous requests for proposals focused solely on intermittent renewables like solar and wind. However, unlike solar and wind, the company is now looking for firm renewable capacity that is available at all times. On both Maui and Oahu, the goal is to develop a diversified range of energy-generating resources.

As per the news release, Hawaiian Electric plans to submit the final request for bids on Aug. 31 and compile a list of priority on March 17. On August 4, 2023, it aims to pick a final award group and commence contract discussions on August 14, 2023. The schedule is contingent on regulatory approval.

Bids from local and international energy developers will be accepted for the third stage. On May 24, at 5:30 p.m., an online public meeting will be held to solicit feedback on the draft RFP (request for proposals).

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