HECO's new RFP for Big Wind

SUBHEAD: PUC says HECO and C&C can't just give away 200MW of wind capacity to Pattern Energy. By Keone Kealoha on 21 July 2011 for Malama Kauai - (http://campaign.r20.constantcontact.com/render?llr=uupz6mcab&v=001hgLWFIFcpZ2MxP50BYvn3kSmuX_qMbb9PeH8-JGpcq7IGJDBJF_FPKCaUw6ecKOxeUfofWjBXsMxT7doviRIavmSbvw-npcsup9VfQtw8fiCXpo6aRtarRrz-LMXG2Ai) Image above: In 1987 Kamaoa Wind Farm, at South Point on the Big Island, consisted of 37 wind generators on 100 acres producing 7.5MW. It became dilapidated and was abandoned in 2006. Since then parts have been salvaged to keep some generators operational. It's not a pretty sight. From (http://www.waymarking.com/waymarks/WMJKM_Kamaoa_Wind_Farms_South_Point_Hawaii). The Hawaiian Electric Co. (HECO) and Castle & Cooke (C&C) that they do not have the authority to "give away" 200 of the allotted 400 MW of wind-generated power for Oahu to a new player -- Pattern Energy -- as they had assumed. HECO now has 90 days to submit a new Request for Proposal (RFP) for Public Utility Commission (PUC) approval to solicit competitive bids for the remaining 200 MW from ANY renewable energy source, to be found on ANY island, including Oahu. The PUC also made it clear that its denial of HECO's request in no way approves the C&C wind power plant for Lana'i, and listed several of the critical steps remaining before that project is considered "approved." According to the Star-Advertiser, C&C and HECO still must seek PUC approval for a power purchase agreement "and, if applicable, the community benefit agreements," along with completing required environmental reviews and securing land use and other permitting approvals.
HECO must find new bidders By Staff on 15 July 2011 for the Star Adertiser - (http://www.staradvertiser.com/news/20110715__HECO_must_find_new_bidders_for_MolokaiLanai_wind_project.html)

The Public Utilities Commission ordered Hawaiian Electric Co. Thursday to seek new bidders to develop half of the large-scale wind energy project proposed for Molokai and Lanai.

The order follows a series of events in which HECO dropped Boston-based First Wind LLC from the project because it missed a March deadline to submit plans to develop 200 megawatts of generating capacity on Molokai.

The order allows Castle & Cooke to continue pursuing its plan to develop 200 megawatts of wind energy on Lanai.

Castle & Cooke initially received approval from the Public Utilities Commission in 2008 to develop a full 400 megawatts of wind power on Lanai alone. The agreement was later amended to split the 400 megawatts evenly between Lanai and Molokai.

Under that deal, Castle & Cooke was to develop 200 megawatts on Lanai with First Wind pursuing 200 megawatts on Molokai.

However when First Wind missed the March deadline, Castle & Cooke stepped in and said it would "assign" half of its original 400 megawatts of generating capacity to Molokai Ranch and Pattern Energy Group.

The PUC ruled that Castle & Cooke did not have the authorization to do so.

"Part of the PUC's role in clean energy development in Hawaii is to ensure an open and fair process," PUC Chairwoman Hermina Morita said in a news release.

Castle & Cooke and HECO's "proposed assignment of 200 megawatts to Molokai Ranch goes beyond the scope of the PUC's waiver from the original competitive bid process," Morita said.

The PUC gave HECO 90 days to restart the bidding.

In its order the PUC also noted that this ruling did not constitute approval of Castle & Cooke's Lanai project.

"Castle & Cooke and HECO still must seek PUC approval for their negotiated power purchase agreement and, if applicable, the community benefit agreements," according to the order.

Castle & Cooke also must complete a required environmental review and seek land-use and other permitting approvals.

See also: Ea O Ka Aina: Lanai challenges Big Wind 4/28/11 Ea O Ka Aina: Big Wind Storm 4/16/11 .

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