HECO plans to bring three Oahu solar farms online by 2019

Local News

Oahu could get three solar farms by 2019.

The Public Utilities Commission still needs to approve Hawaiian Electric’s plan, but the utility says customers will see a small but significant change in their bills.

Hawaiian Electric says these big grid-scale solar projects will supply electricity at a lower rate and take a substantial step toward a 100 percent renewable energy goal.

The projects will look similar to this solar farm in Waianae that just went online.

Hawaiian Electric has reached an agreement with NRG Energy to buy electricity generated by the Lanikuhana and Waipio solar plants in Central Oahu. The two companies are also continuing plans for execution of a power purchase agreement (PPA) for the Kawailoa solar facility planned to be located in Haleiwa.

These projects mark NRG’s entry into the Hawaii utility-scale solar market.

The three projects were originally proposed by SunEdison and were acquired by NRG at the end of November 2016 during SunEdison’s bankruptcy proceedings. In February 2016, as a result of SunEdison missing contract milestones and SunEdison’s financial condition, Hawaiian Electric terminated the original PPAs for the three projects.

The negotiated prices in the new 22-year agreements are lower than the SunEdison agreements.

Hawaiian Electric says the three solar projects will contribute 3 percent toward Hawaii meeting its 100 percent renewable energy goal.

We checked with the PUC to see when a decision will be made on HECO’s plans and we’ll let you know when we hear back.

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