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HECO plans to expand its renewable energy portfolio on Oʻahu

HECO lineman.jpg
Hawaiian Electric
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The Hawaiian Electric Company plans to expand its renewable energy portfolio on Oʻahu — and is seeking public feedback.

HECO is issuing a draft request for proposals to acquire 500 to 700 megawatts of firm renewable energy.

This includes geothermal, waste-to-energy, green hydrogen, biomass and projects using renewable fuels – such as biodiesel.

HECO vice president Rebecca Dayhuff Matsushima says while wind and solar energy helps with near-term milestones – firm renewable energy is necessary for customers when the sun isn’t shining, and wind isn’t blowing.

In addition to seeking proposals for the new project, the utility is also requiring a community benefits package for the proposal.

Developers must provide funding to a yet-to-be-determined nonprofit on an annual basis — allowing community organizations to apply for grants from the nonprofit.

HECO is asking for public input regarding this new requirement.

A similar community benefit agreement was reached with Maui Electric Company and Innergex for a solar project in West Maui. The developer has agreed to donate up to $70,000 annually to local community groups.

More information can be found at hawaiianelectric.com.

Casey Harlow is an HPR reporter and occasionally fills in as local host of Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Contact him at charlow@hawaiipublicradio.org or on Twitter (@CaseyHarlow).
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