An operational solar-plus-storage project on Hawaii’s Kauai Island. Image: ABB.

US utility Hawaiian Electric is seeking proposals from resources including solar-plus-storage as part of its latest “all-source” renewables procurement round.

A newly filed draft Request for Proposals (RfP) stipulates that solar PV projects must be combined with a four-hour duration battery energy storage system (BESS). Those colocated battery systems must be enabled to charge directly from the grid “in order to extract greater reliability and resilience benefits from these resources”, the utility said.

The draft RfP is for the third phase of Hawaiian Electric’s renewables procurement programme for capacity on Hawaii Island and seeks capacity and grid services for the eastern side of the island.

The utility intends to launch the RfP by the end of February 2022 after it has drawn comment from the community, interested parties and prospective participants and Hawaii’s regulatory Public Utilities Commission (PUC). 

While it then expects to make its selection and begin contract negotiations late next year, projects in the RfP will have until 2030 to go online. Hawaiian Electric said it is basing this approach on a Grid Needs Assessment which showed there is enough system capability to be able to wait to acquire dispatchable renewable energy and energy storage resources. 

The first two phases of the procurement rounds for Hawaii Island selected about 132MW of generation with 492MWh of storage for Hawaii Island. The PUC instructed the utility to procure just over 200MW of capacity for the island as part of a wider procurement for all of the Hawaiian islands, for about 900MW of renewables and energy storage.

The utility last year submitted eight contracts representing nearly 300MW of solar and around 2,000MWh of energy storage for islands of O’ahu and Maui for approval to the PUC.

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