Hawaiian PV Solar Developers Anxious over PUC Decision on 220 MW of Solar Power for the State

Project developers in Hawai’i eagerly anticipate a Public Utilities Commission (PUC) decision on seven utility-scale solar PV installations with a total capacity of some 220 MWac. Though unconfirmed, word is that the Hawai’i’s three PUC commissioners will reach a decision in the next week or two.

Amounting to nearly 20 percent of peak power demand on Oahu, the Aloha State’s most populous island, the PUC’s decisions will have a huge impact on Oahu’s power grid, as well as solar sector jobs and achieving a recently government-mandated goal of renewables meeting 100 percent of state-wide electricity consumption by 2045. A PUC spokesperson would not comment on the proposals.  

Submitted by developers Eurus, Hanwha, SunEdison and NextEra – whose proposed acquisition of Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) is also pending approval by the PUC – five project proposals were filed around the same time last year. Two others date back to 2013. All the developers worked closely with, and obtained support from, HECO before submitting their proposals to the PUC. HECO delivers all Oahu’s and 95 percent of Hawai’i’s electricity.

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