Text size:

HECO in talks to revive 3 solar farms on Oahu

Posted on Jan 27, 2017 in Headlines, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Solar, Utilities

(Honolulu Star-Advertiser)  Three utility-scale solar farms that Hawaiian Electric Co. terminated last year are going to be revived.

In February, HECO backed out of its contract with Maryland Heights, Mo.-based SunEdison Inc. for three utility-scale solar facilities on Oahu that were approved by state regulators in July.

HECO terminated the contracts for the three projects — 50-megawatt Kawailoa Solar, to be built in Haleiwa; 15-megawatt Lanikuhana Solar, to be built southwest of Mililani; and 47-megawatt Waiawa PV, to be built in Waipio — because of SunEdison’s financial situation and the company’s failure to meet project milestones.

Jim Kelly, HECO spokesman, said the utility is negotiating a deal with the new owner of the projects, Houston-based NRG Energy.

“We’re working on it,” Kelly said. “It’s pretty close … Right now we’re trying to make a deal with them to try to get those projects back under construction.”

NRG Energy acquired the projects in November after SunEdison filed for bankruptcy last April. Kelly said HECO is working to negotiate a lower price than the SunEdison contract.

SunEdison’s facilities would have sold solar power to HECO for approximately 14 cents a kilowatt-hour for the duration of their 22-year lifespans.

“What we are working on right now is coming up with new terms with the new owner,” Kelly said.

Luis P. Salaveria, director of the state Department of Business, Economic Development &Tourism, said at an informational briefing for state lawmakers that he is confident the state would meet its 2020 goal of having 30 percent of its energy mix coming from renewables because HECO assured the department that it “can get those projects online.”

“Now that that process has moved through bankruptcy, we are looking for those projects to start up again,” he said.

http://www.staradvertiser.com/2017/01/27/business/heco-in-talks-to-revive-3-solar-farms-on-oahu/ HECO in talks to revive 3 solar farms on Oahu 1/25/17 Kathryn Mykleseth