Hawaii Electric Light Company, Inc. (HELCO) and Ormat Technologies, Inc. announced the signing of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to add more renewable energy, with pricing independent of oil prices, to the Hawaii Island grid.
As part of the contract, Ormat Technologies' wholly-owned Puna Geothermal Venture (PGV) agrees to provide an additional eight megawatts (MW) of dispatchable geothermal power at fixed prices for over 20 years, providing a valuable hedge against fluctuating oil prices that benefits Hawaii Island electric customers. PGV, located in the lower Puna district of Hawaii Island, currently provides approximately 30 MW under two contracts.
The PPA is subject to approval by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC), with input from the Hawaii Division of Consumer Advocacy. The construction of the power plant is substantially complete and is expected to reach full commercial operation after HELCO completes electric grid modifications by the third quarter of 2011.
“Our continued partnership will help us reach our clean energy goals even sooner,” said Jay Ignacio, Hawaii Electric Light Company president. “With long-term pricing that’s not tied to the price of oil, this contract will help stabilize electricity bills as fuel prices move higher.”
Hawaii Island is a world leader in renewable energy, with more than one-third of the energy supplied to its customers from geothermal, wind, hydro-electric and solar resources. Future renewable energy sources also include biomass as well as the use of sustainable biofuel in existing HELCO generating units.
“This agreement reinforces our commitment to increase our diverse portfolio of renewable energy resources,” Ignacio said.
Puna Geothermal Venture has provided baseload power to the island’s grid since 1993.
Ormat, a world leader in geothermal technology, acquired PGV in 2004 and has been continuously investing capital to improve efficiency and environmental controls.
“We have enjoyed a long and successful relationship with HELCO and are grateful for its support of geothermal power. Ormat is committed to providing Hawaii’s market with the best geothermal technology, working with the community and sharing with it the benefits of the new development,” said Yoram Bronicki, president and COO of Ormat Technologies.
“The power that the expansion will contribute will be generated from a more efficient utilization of the resource which allows us to reduce the overall cost of power and to provide improved stability to the overall electrical grid of the island.”