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HECO seeks regulatory OK to buy power from planned PV farm

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Hawaiian Electric Co. has filed a request with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission to buy electricity from a planned 20-megawatt solar energy project being developed by First Wind LLC near Mililani in Central Oahu.

First Wind, which is developing the project through its First Wind Solar Group subsidiary, said it is seeking to sell the power to HECO for 15.6 cents a kilowatt hour under a 20-year power purchase agreement, a rate comparable to what the utility is negotiating with other developers of planned utility-scale photovoltaic projects on Oahu.

FIrst Wind estimates the project will meet the power needs of 6,000 homes, and save ratepayers as much as $67 million over the life of the PPA when compared with the cost of generating electricity by burning oil.

Hawaiian Electric is negotiating agreements with nine developers of utility-scale PV projects to install 240 megawatts of solar generating capacity on Oahu.

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