Hawaiian Electric pursues approval for 14.7-MW solar project on Oahu

Hawaiian Electric is seeking approval, by May 4, or as soon as reasonably practicable, from the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) relating to a 14.7-MW (ac) net photovoltaic project proposed by Lanikuhana Solar LLC, which is to be located in Mililani on the island of Oahu.

“Time is of the essence under the PPA, and Lanikuhana’s ability to achieve ‘Construction Milestones’ is critically important,” said the Dec. 4 application. “As stated by the developer for the Lanikuhana Project in Exhibit 11, ‘[t]he financing and construction of interconnection facilities are the primary critical path issue for the [Lanikuhana] Project. We do not believe that the [Lanikuhana] Project…can be successfully developed without a financial close in July, 2015. Commission approval of the PPA for the [Lanikuhana] Project would need to be received by May 4, 2015, in order for any appeal period to pass in time to allow financial closing to occur in July 2015.’ The ‘Guaranteed Commercial Operations Date’ will be December 31, 2016, prior to the expiration of the Investment Tax Credit at the end of 2016. Further, under the PPA, Lanikuhana may, for a period of 90 days following May 4, 2015, declare the PPA null and void if Commission approval is not obtained by such date.”

Lanikuhana is a wholly owned subsidiary of Mililani South PV LLC, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of First Wind Solar Portfolio LLC, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the ultimate parent company, First Wind Holdings LLC.

The proposed facility will be located on Oahu’s central plain, just south of the residential community of Mililani, in the City and County of Honolulu. The property was originally owned by Castle & Cooke Inc., which subdivided a larger parcel into five lots. First Wind purchased a 211-acre lot on which the facility will be sited. This parcel was part of Mililani Agricultural Park LLC, which supports cultivation of a variety of diversified agricultural crops ranging from fruit trees and vegetables to turf and landscape plants.

On Jan. 28, Hawaiian Electric and the Division of Consumer Advocacy of the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs filed a proposed review schedule for this application. 

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.