Hawaiian Electric Co. has asked the state Public Utilities Commission for permission to negotiate with five proposed renewable energy projects that could quickly provide low-cost electricity for Oahu, the most populated of the Hawaiian Islands.
If the commission approves the request, Hawaiian Electric anticipates negotiating 20-year power purchase agreements directly with the developers of the five projects, which would create a combined 64 MW of new power capacity.
The projects have committed to selling electricity to the utility at an average price of 15.9 cents per kWh, which is about one-third less than prices paid to existing solar and wind energy projects on Oahu and the current cost of generating electricity from oil, according to Hawaiian Electric. The combined effect of the five projects could reduce generation costs by approximately $7.4 million a year compared to current cost.
The utility said its goal is to have as many of the projects as possible in service by the end of 2015.
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