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HECO asks regulators to approve low-cost power generation

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 01:39 p.m. HST, Jun 19, 2013

<br />star-advertiser 2010<br />Electricity rates in four counties rose slightly in February and March. This is HECO's building on Ward Avenue.<br />

Hawaiian Electric Co. is asking state regulators for permission to negotiate with developers of  five renewable energy projects that want to sell electricity to the utility for one-third less than HECO’s current cost of generating power.

If the Public Utilities Commission approves the request HECO will negotiate power purchase agreements with an average price of 15.9 cents a kilowatt hour, utility officials said today. The five projects proposed for Oahu include a mix of solar and wind technologies with a combined generating capacity of 64 megawatts. HECO anticipates negotiating 20-year contracts for each project.

Based on preliminary estimates, HECO estimates the combined effects of the five projects could reduce generation costs by $7.4 million a year compared to today’s cost of generation from oil-fired plants and renewable sources.

“These projects represent an important first step as we are starting to see lower market prices for renewable energy,” said Scott Seu, HECO’s vice president for energy resources and operations. “The strong response we received demonstrates the high level of competition in our market. That’s good news for customers,” Seu said.

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false wrote:
So who gets the projected cost savings? Does it go to the executives? Does it go to the shareholders? Are they going to buy more advertisements? Is it going to go to lobbying our paid for politicians? Or is 2 0r 3 cents on the dollar going to be to reduce customer bills?
on June 19,2013 | 12:49PM
what wrote:
Constance Lau will pat herself on the back and raise her pay from $6 million to $8 million. She really thinks she deserves it.
on June 19,2013 | 02:44PM
goodday wrote:
fuel costs get passed directly to the consumer. so any increases/decreases in cost of fuel should be reflected in your electric bill
on June 20,2013 | 10:15AM
tiki886 wrote:
Why would you lock in $.15.9 cents per KWH for 20 years if renewable energy is supposed to get cheaper over time? What if PAR Petroleum offers LNG at $.05 per KWH?
on June 19,2013 | 12:54PM
shanik wrote:
Exactly! Similar renewable projects on the mainland are half that price!! "Cost of paradise" doesn't justify a 50% premium..
on June 19,2013 | 02:34PM
kaiakea wrote:
Although it is probably industry standard, I'm bothered by the lack of transparency, even though the process is still in the negotiation stage. As a public utility company, shouldn't the public be kept informed at all stages of a deal as important as this? And once the negotiations are done, is that the end of it, or will the public get an opportunity for input at that time. Too much opportunity for shibai doing it this way.
on June 19,2013 | 03:39PM
dpinsacto wrote:
That is because HECO isn't a public utility company. They are a publicly traded utility company. Shareholders come first. Boo. Municipalize HECO and the cost of living in the isles will be much more affordable.
on June 19,2013 | 03:42PM
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