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Hawaiian Electric negotiating contracts for 7 solar-plus-storage projects

Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. utilities are currently negotiating power purchase contracts for approximately 260 MW of solar generation on Oahu, Maui and Hawaii islands.

All seven solar projects will be connected to a storage system that will capture up to four hours of electricity, Hawaiian Electric Industries said in an Oct. 9 news release. The projects include three on Oahu that total about 120 MW and 515 MWh of storage; two on Maui that total about 75 MW and 300 MWh of storage; and two on Hawaii Island that total about 60 MW and 240 MWh of storage.

The projects result from an expedited procurement effort of Hawaiian Electric Co. Inc., Maui Electric Co. Ltd. and Hawaii Electric Light Co. Inc. that began in February. The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission still needs to approve the projects.

Innergex Renewable Energy Inc. announced Oct. 10 that it is among the developers whose projects have been selected. The company's proposed projects are a 30-MW solar and 120-MWh battery storage facility on Hawaii Island, and a 15-MW solar and 60-MWh battery storage facility on Maui. Both projects, if approved, are expected to begin commercial operation in 2022.

"These large-scale solar and battery projects will accelerate our renewable energy drive at some of the lowest prices we've seen to date," Shelee Kimura, senior vice president of business development and strategic planning for Hawaiian Electric Industries, said in the news release.