Utility Landscape in Hawaii
Hawaiian Electric Industries is the largest supplier of electricity in the state of Hawaii, supplying power to 95% of Hawaii’s population through the following electric utilities: Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc. (Oahu), Hawaii Electric Light Company, Inc. (Hawaii) and Maui Electric Company, Limited (Maui)*.
Unlike HEI, Kauai’s utility (KIUC) operates as a cooperative and is not structured in the same manner as the larger utility. However, both utilities are committed to the adoption and integration of renewable sources of energy in the effort to reduce the states dependency on oil and both are regulated by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) which maintains oversight over both entities.
It is important to connect with the appropriate utility company whether negotiating a power purchase agreement (PPA) for the sale of renewable energy, exploring interconnection or fuel contract options, or seeking information about the Feed-in-Tariff (FIT) programs. Find more information on the web links below for PPAs, grid interconnection, FIT and competitive bidding.
1) Renewable Energy Development and Power Purchase Agreements
Summary: Power purchase agreements (PPAs) are contracts between electricity producers in which one party sells energy or generating capacity to another, who generally serves energy related customers. These contracts provide the mutual benefit of allowing the utility to purchase a lower cost energy resource as well as enabling the renewable energy developer to secure a longer term revenue contract. Please click on the following links for more information. For specific information on Kauai’s PPA processes, please contact KIUC at (808) 246-4300.
2) Utility and Grid Interconnection, Rule 14 H
Summary: The location where a renewable energy company connects to the grid is an important consideration. The following maps provide an overview of the current allocation of renewable energy integration by geographic location on the respective islands (except Kauai). As the utilities have the oversight of regulating areas of high renewable energy concentration into the grid and the responsibility of supplying firm power to its customers base, it is important to be aware of HEI’s rule 14H (PDF). In summary, rule 14H (with the exception of Kauai) requires an interconnection study by the developer prior to feeding power into the existing grid for Oahu, Maui and Hawaii. A recent decision by the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) seeks to streamline the process of these interconnection studies.
3) Feed-in-Tariff (FIT)
Summary: Feed-in Tariffs (FIT) are designed to accelerate investment in renewable energy technologies by offering long term contracts to renewable energy producers based on the cost of generation of each technology on Oahu, Maui and Hawaii. Please click on the respective island for information on HEI’s FIT program. For Kauai, please contact KIUC directly to receive information on the Schedule Q program (FIT equivalent) for companies that are looking to sell 100 kW (or less) of electricity to the utility.
Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC): Please contact KIUC for updated information at (808) 246-4300.
4) Competitive Bidding
Summary: All projects greater than 5MW on Oahu are subject to competitive bidding. The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) adopted the framework for competitive bidding as a mechanism for building new energy generation in Hawaii. The process is initiated by Hawaiian Electric with the issuance of a Request for Proposals (RFP). Please click on the link for more information.
Self-Help Energy Suite
Renewable EnerGIS Map
This tool provides renewable energy resource and site information for specific Hawaii locations. It is intended to help landowners, developers, and policy makers understand the renewable energy potential of sites statewide.
Renewable Energy Permitting Wizard
The Renewable Energy Permitting Wizard tool was developed to help those proposing renewable energy projects understand the county, state, and federal permits that may be required for their individual project. This tool works for projects ranging in size from residential solar installations to large utility-scale facilities.
Hawaii Renewable Energy Projects Directory
The islands of Hawaii have abundant natural resources such as wind, solar, geothermal, biofuels, and hydropower. These precious resources could potentially meet a substantial portion of Hawaii’s energy needs. Use this interactive directory to find and learn about renewable energy projects in Hawaii.
Starting an energy project and need assistance? Complete this questionnaire.
Please note that the listings, the associations and contacts herein are provided for informational purposes only and are not meant to be all inclusive. The Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism does not endorse or certify the individuals, firms or businesses on these lists. If you are a firm that engages in the specialization of commercial scale renewable energy project development, finance, consulting or investment services, and wishes be to added to the content found in these following summary pages, we welcome you to contact us and provide your information for listing. Please contact Cameron Black at firstname.lastname@example.org.