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Hawaiian Electric seeking proposals for shared solar projects

Hawaiian Electric’s shared solar program is seeking project proposals for customers with low and moderate incomes on Maui, O’ahu and the Big Island. Illustration courtesy: Hawaiian Electric

Hawaiian Electric is seeking project proposals to provide customers with low- and moderate-incomes on Maui, O‘ahu and the Big Island with the opportunity to  participate in a shared solar program.

This request for proposals for the program, also called community-based renewable energy or CBRE, provides exclusive opportunities for low- and moderate-income families to realize the benefits of transitioning to a renewable energy future.  

The shared solar program aims to lower participants’ energy bills, while helping to reduce the use of imported fossil fuels and cut carbon emissions. The program provides a way for customers, such as renters,  apartment residents, small business owners and organizations unable to install privately-owned  rooftop solar, to benefit from solar electricity generated on their island. 

The Public Utilities Commission approved the request for proposals to remain open until May 17, 2022, at 2 p.m.

Developers, companies, organizations or groups authorized to do business in Hawai‘i can submit proposals to develop shared solar projects. The organization’s proposal then undergoes an evaluation process for its proposed project(s). Organizations whose proposals are selected are then considered a “subscriber  organization”.

Details are at hawaiianelectric.com/LMICBRERFP. Information on applying to become a subscriber organization is available at hawaiianelectric.com/sharedsolar. 

When a subscriber organization proposing a shared solar facility is approved, customers on the  island where the project will be located may become “subscribers” to that facility by applying directly to the subscriber organization.

Once the project is built and online, subscribers may receive credits on their monthly electricity bill based on the output of the project and their level of participation. 

Development of the shared solar request for proposals involved feedback from communities and stakeholders on the three islands. This included community meetings that resulted in Hawaiian Electric adding new criteria that gives higher scoring to projects proposed on land zoned commercial or industrial, prioritizing residential subscribers on a proximity basis to the shared solar project, and  updating criteria to encourage subscriber organizations to use local labor and pay prevailing wages. 

Proposals must also include additional post-selection activities for any cultural resource impacts and requirements for continued community outreach and engagement. 

A separate request for proposals for additional shared solar projects on O‘ahu, Maui and Hawaiʻi Island (Tranche 1) will be opened on April 14, 2022. Although low- and moderate-income  components will not be required in Tranche 1, it will be incentivized. Updates will be available at  hawaiianelectric.com/Tranche1CBRERFP.  

Original source: https://mauinow.com/2022/03/22/hawaiian-electric-seeking-proposals-for-shared-solar-projects/

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