Hawaiian Electric seeks approval of 19-MW solar project on Oahu

Hawaiian Electric is seeking approval from the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission of a Power Purchase Agreement with a 19-MW photovoltaic project proposed by Ho’ohana Solar 1 LLC (HS1), which is to be located in Waipahu on the island of Oahu.

The application for approval of the PPA, filed Dec. 4, said: “Time is of the essence under the PPA, and HS1’s ability to achieve ‘Construction Milestones’ is critically important. HS1 explains the importance of a timely decision and order by the Commission no later than May 1, 2015. HS1 states that a timely decision and order would help to ensure that the Project meets its anticipated commercial operations date and qualifies for the federal Investment Tax Credit (‘ITC’), which is scheduled to expire at the end of 2016, and upon which the Project’s low-cost pricing is based. HS1 also explains that it has placed significant development capital at risk without certainty of Commission approval to keep the Project on track. The ‘Guaranteed Commercial Operations Date’ is December 31, 2016, which is the date of expiration of the ITC.” 

The facility will be designed to have a total capacity of 19 MW (ac), which is the Contract Capacity. It will interconnect to Hawaiian Electric’s existing Waiau-Mililani 46 kV sub-transmission line, which transects the site.

HS1 is wholly owned by FCHQC Development LLC, which is owned by Hanwha Q CELLS USA Corp. and Forest City Sustainable Resources LLC,, which have joined forces to develop renewable energy projects in Hawaii. As of the date of execution of the PPA, Forest City Sustainable Resources was the owner of 100% of HS1’s membership interest. However, pursuant to agreements entered into by Forest City Sustainable Resources and Hanwha USA, Forest City Sustainable Resources will transfer at least 70% of HS1’s membership interest to Hanwha USA.

Hawaiian Electric and the state Consumer Advocate on Jan. 28 filed a proposed schedule for this case with the commission.

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.