Hawaiian Electric seeks approval of 50-MW SunEdison solar project

Hawaiian Electric is seeking an approval from the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission of a Power Purchase Agreement relating to a 50-MW photovoltaic project proposed by SunE Waiawa Solar LLC (SUNE), which is to be located in Waiawa, Pearl City, on the island of Oahu.

Said the Dec. 4 application: “Time is of the essence under the PPA, and SUNE’s ability to achieve ‘Construction Milestones’ is critically important. SUNE explains the importance of a timely decision and order by the Commission on or before May 31, 2015. SUNE 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. SUNE also explains that it has placed significant development capital at risk without certainty of Commission approval to keep the Project on track. The latest date that the Commercial Operations can occur and still qualify for the ITC is December 31, 2016, which the Parties have designated as the ‘Guaranteed Commercial Operations Date’ under the PPA. Further, under the PPA, Seller may, for a period of ninety (90) days following May 31, 2015, declare the PPA null and void if the Commission approval is not obtained by such date.”

SUNE is wholly owned by SunEdison LLC, which is wholly owned by SunEdison Holding Corp., which is in tum wholly owned by SunEdison Inc.

The project site is located east of the H-2 Freeway/Ka Uka Boulevard interchange, and west of Pearl City. The facility will be situated on 387 acres of land. The facility is currently planned to interconnect to Hawaiian Electric’s Wahiawa-Waimano and Waiau-Mililani 46-kV sub-transmission lines, both of which run east along the H-2 Highway near Ka Uka Boulevard. Also, the proposed interconnection for the project involves the construction of two new sections of 46-kV lines.

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 case. 

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.