Legal proceedings continued over failed geothermal tender in Hawaii

Legal proceedings continued over failed geothermal tender in Hawaii Video footage of Puna Geothermal plant in Hawaii (source: screenshot KiTV)
Alexander Richter 30 Dec 2016

Hawaiian utility blamed for failed geothermal tender with one of the developers that bid for a geothermal project in Hawaii still battling the tender decision, and the winner having since withdrawn its development plans.

Over the past few years, there have been several news regarding potential new geothermal development in the State of Hawaii in the U.S., but with no real progress.

Following a rather controversial development tender for a project on the Big Island of Hawaii, one of the companies not successful has now indicated not giving up its legal fight, despite a complaint having been recently rejected by state regulators, as reported locally by Pacific Business News.

Huena Power Inc., formed by Innovations Development Group — a Native Hawaiian renewable energy firm – filed a complaint with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission asking it to find that Hawaii Electric Light Co.’s request for proposals process for a 50-megawatt geothermal project on the Big Island was unfair.

In its ruling the Public Utilities Commission said that the price offered by Huena Power was significantly above the price threshold, which – so various sources – was set too low in the first place, making it effectively nearly impossible to have a valid bid.

Ormat Technologies, which owns and operates the only geothermal power plant on the Big Island in the state through Puna Geothermal Venture, was chosen to develop the project, which was downsized to 25 megawatts. But Ormat decided to drop out of negotiations with HELCO, leaving the project in limbo.

The Puna Geothermal Venture plant has an installed capacity of 38 MW and there are plans for possible additional plants on the Big Island, as well as Ohu and Maui.

But – as reported here before, there seems to be no real will by the local utility HELCO to pursue geothermal and the unsuccessful RFP and tender were designed to fail.

Source: Biz Journals