NOTE: The 15.8 cents per kwh wholesale rate being touted as 'savings' by HECO is higher than the retail rates paid by average residential consumers on most of the mainland. This contract guarantees Hawaii to suffer high prices for then next 20 years. (Yes, thanks to fracking, we can no longer reasonably expect future sky high gas and oil prices against which these contracts could be made to appear reasonable.)
On October 23, HECO revealed that one of its secret contracts had been proposed with the uber-cronies of Solar City.
How many of the secret 9 contracts will funnel money out of your pocket via Solar City into the coffers of the National Democratic Party and its candidates?
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Hawaiian Electric seeks more low-cost renewable energy for customers on Oahu
News Release from HECO
HONOLULU, Nov. 5, 2013 – In another effort to bring customers relief from high electric bills, Hawaiian Electric has asked the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission to allow negotiations with developers of six additional renewable energy projects that could quickly provide low-cost electricity for Oahu.
Hawaiian Electric first issued a call for ready-to-build, low-cost renewable energy projects on O'ahu in February. In June, Hawaiian Electric asked the Commission for a waiver from the competitive bidding framework to negotiate with developers of five projects across Oahu with a combined capacity of 64 megawatts. The Commission is still considering that request.
At that time, Hawaiian Electric also said developers of 20 other proposals not selected would have the opportunity to update and resubmit their pricing proposals. These six additional projects are from that group.
Hawaiian Electric has also informed the Commission that developers of two of the original five proposals have asked that their proposals be withdrawn. Those developers may still resubmit their projects under other acquisition programs.
With the remaining three proposals and six new proposals, Hawaiian Electric is asking the Commission to approve negotiations for a total of nine projects, all utility-scale solar photovoltaic facilities with a total capacity of more than 240 megawatts. Hawaiian Electric anticipates negotiating a 20-year contract with each project with the goal to have as many as possible in service by the end of 2015.
Combined, the projects have committed to sell electricity to Hawaiian Electric at an average of 15.8 cents per kilowatt-hour. This is about one-third less than prices paid to existing solar and wind energy projects on O‘ahu and the current cost of generating electricity from oil.
Based on preliminary estimates, Hawaiian Electric expects the combined effect of all nine projects could reduce generation costs by approximately $25.8 million per year, compared to today’s cost of generation. This represents direct savings for Hawaiian Electric customers. The cost of electricity purchased by Hawaiian Electric from other producers and fuel for electricity generated by Hawaiian Electric passes through to customers with no mark-up or profit to the utility.
“The good news is that the high level of competition in our market is continuing to bring lower prices that will benefit all customers,” said Scott Seu, Hawaiian Electric vice president for energy resources and operations. “We can’t control the cost of oil, but we’re accelerating the addition of more low-cost renewable energy resources that will reduce our customers’ bills and help us reach our state’s clean energy goals.”
Normally, the Public Utilities Commission requires Hawaiian Electric to use the competitive bidding framework when selecting generation projects larger than 5 megawatts.
Hawaiian Electric also notified the Commission that in order to bring customers relief from current high bills as soon as possible, the utility will begin negotiations for the nine projects while the Commission considers the request to waive competitive bidding requirements.
As with all power purchase agreements, Hawaiian Electric will submit all final contracts to the Commission for individual review and approval. The individual developers are also responsible for other key steps, including environmental review, permitting and community outreach.
This is part of the Hawaiian Electric Companies’ commitment to lower customers’ bills, improve service, and achieve a clean energy future of Hawaii. Other recent actions include:
- Asking the Public Utilities Commission for approval to develop a 15-megawatt photovoltaic facility on undeveloped utility-owned land near Kahe Generating Station Over its lifespan, the project is estimated to reduce the overall cost of generating electricity on O'ahu by $64 million and displace 1.8 million gallons of oil per year.
- Making it easier for Oahu customers to report outages, downed power lines or other system problems using a new toll-free automated system capable of handling thousands of phone calls at the same time 24 hours a day.
- Continuing to help customers install rooftop solar photovoltaic projects. More than 35,000 installed PV systems across the companies’ service territories have a combined capacity of approximately 260 megawatts, leading the nation in solar watts and solar installations per customer.
- Deactivating less efficient, older generating units on Oahu, Maui and Hawaii Island, a combined 226 megawatts of capacity – about 14 percent of generation owned by the utilities.
- Working with the State of Hawaii and others to use cleaner and lower-cost liquefied natural gas to replace more expensive petroleum fuels in our generating units.
REALITY: HECO Solar Project Pays More Wholesale than Mainland Retail Rates (And that was 'only' 14.5 cents per kwh)
REALITY: WSJ on Solar City: Cronyism in Full Force