WAIMEA — Parker Ranch subsidiary Paniolo Power Co. has taken another step forward toward renewable energy solutions for the Big Island.
At the Waimea Community Association meeting May 3, Paniolo Power’s General Manager Jose Dizon shared that his company has formed a new partnership with Innergex Renewables USA, a branch of the independent, public power company based in Quebec, Canada.
In business since 1990, Innergex develops, owns and operates run-of-river hydroelectric facilities, wind farms, solar photo-voltaic farms and geothermal power generation plants. Their projects are located in Quebec, British Columbia and Ontario, Canada, as well as France, Iceland, and on the mainland in Texas and Michigan.
“We were looking for a company that focused on compact or small-range projects,” Dizon said. “We also wanted a company that built a project, operated, stayed with us and became our partner long-term. I went to Canada to find them and they do all that.”
Shortly after the two companies signed an energy partnership agreement, Hawaii Electric Light Co. (HELCO) issued a request for proposals (RFP) Feb. 27 for the supply of qualified variable renewable dispatchable generation for Hawaii Island to be delivered to the Hawaii Electric Light System.
The deadline to submit proposals was April 30.
“They did it on a very aggressive schedule. Our proposal is for solar PV and battery energy storage, but it has an agricultural component to support ranching islandwide and for students in our local schools who can participate. We’re going to make this available as this project moves along,” Dizon said.
The proposed project is located on Parker Ranch land mauka of West Hawaii Concrete and towards Old Saddle Road.
David Little, Innergex’s senior director who heads their U.S. efforts from San Diego, explained their company’s capabilities further at Thursday night’s community meeting.
“We have 65 projects total and are a unique company because we’re diversified in our technologies. We have solar projects, hydro — which is really our ‘bread and butter’ in Canada — but we also have wind projects and geothermal projects as well in Iceland.
“We felt it was important to give the community a heads up on what we’re doing” he added.
Innergex’s proposal conforms to requirements listed in HELCO’s RFP.
“It would be a solar project with a battery storage component to it, which is very interesting because there is a lot of solar energy on the Big Island, but there’s not a lot of solar generation when the customers need it. So, adding a battery on to the solar project allows us to shift the power when needed during the evening peak periods,” Little said. “We think that’s quite exciting.”
Paniolo Power and Innergex Renewables will know in less than 30 days if HELCO has selected their proposal. They presume other companies have submitted proposals but say they don’t know for sure.
“We believe our competitive proposal will be successful, but honestly the success of our project will dictate the pace at which we go forward,” Little said. “If we are successful, we will come back and tell you more details about the project as it comes together.”