Customer Renewable Programs

Community-Based Renewable Energy Update

As of July 20, 2020

  • Hawaiian Electric filed the Community-Based Renewable Energy Program (CBRE) Phase 2 Draft Tariff and Appendices, RFPs and model contracts for moderate-income customers, Molokai and Lanai on July 9, 2020 for the Commission's review and further action in accordance with Ordering Paragraph No. 2 of Order No. 37070 issued on April 9, 2020. Review the draft filing.
  • Access information on CBRE Phase 1.

CBRE Phase 2

CBRE Phase 2 is open to several established renewable energy technologies, though it is popularly known as "community solar" or "solar without a roof." It allows customers who cannot put solar panels on the roof of a single-family home to participate in the renewable energy movement and save money. This primarily includes renters and apartment residents, as well as many small commercial customers.

Hawaiian Electric will administer CBRE across Oahu, Maui County and Hawaii Island. The utility can also serve as a subscriber organization under certain circumstances.
Subscriber Organization is a company, organization or group of people who own, develop or operate a CBRE project.
Subscribers are residential or commercial utility customers who participate, by lease or purchase, in a CBRE project somewhere on their island and get monthly bill credits to offset their electricity use.
Independent observer reports to the Public Utilities Commission to assure the program is administered and operated fairly and consistently with the Community-Based Renewable Energy tariff.

We believe a robust CBRE program can help reinvigorate Hawaii's economy and support recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, creating investment, jobs and tax revenues, while advancing our State's clean energy goals.

Unlike Phase 1, which was limited to 8 megawatts, Phase 2 will be open to 235 MW of renewable generation across Hawaiian Electric's five-island service territory, including Molokai and Lanai. The second phase places special emphasis on opportunities for moderate-income residential customers to participate. In addition to private companies and organizations, Hawaiian Electric will be able to develop projects and recruit subscribers under certain conditions.

The draft request-for-proposals (RFP's) Hawaiian Electric has filed is to competitively bid 100-percent dedicated projects for moderate-income customers on Oahu, Maui and Hawaii Island. This underserved segment was prioritized in Phase 2 and incentivized by the PUC with no capacity cap for developers.

Also, Hawaiian Electric has filed a simplified, draft tariff for smaller projects (< 250 kW) to aid those projects in getting to market faster, so that customers can realize CBRE benefits sooner.

Hawaiian Electric is exploring expanded Pay-As-You-Go and On-Bill repayment options for customers who cannot make a large down-payment, and other financing options that will encourage broad participation, as suggested by the Commission. Hawaiian Electric is also open to projects located to reduce the need for expensive new substations, transformers, poles and wires when doing so allows for reliable service for all customers at lower cost.

CBRE is using the RFP process to identify developers who wish to become a Subscriber Organizations that can recruit Hawaiian Electric customers as Subscribers. These Subscriber Organizations can be established renewable energy developers or organizations like civic clubs, environmental organizations, even churches and family associations.

For smaller projects, under 250 kW, applications will be accepted by Hawaiian Electric on a first-come, first-serve basis. If applications exceed the program capacity for that island, then a reverse auction process called Competitive Credit Rate Procurement (CCRP) will be triggered to allocate project capacity and determine the credit rate.


Next steps

  • After a technical conference and stakeholder feedback, Hawaiian Electric plans to update the Phase 2 draft filings and file final versions on September 8, 2020 for PUC approval. After final approval and posting of the RFP's, Hawaiian Electric will then evaluate bids to determine which projects meet the needs of customers and other requirements.
  • As with other large-scale renewable energy projects, the selected Subscriber Organizations will notify the communities and neighbors of their plans and receive comments and suggestions before the projects are approved by the Commission. Some smaller projects up to 5 MW on Oahu and 2.5 MW on Maui and Hawaii islands will not require Commission approval if they meet all requirements.
  • Hawaiian Electric has developed a CBRE Portal where customers can subscribe to a project once the Subscriber Organization has added their project to the portal. This separate website is targeted to go online by August 1, 2020 to allow customers who are potential subscribers to see the projects on their island and determine which is best for them. Customers will then deal directly with the subscriber organizations to participate.
  • On a parallel track, Hawaiian Electric is developing an RFP for large projects (equal or greater than 250 kW) for Oahu, Maui and Hawaii Island. Draft RFP's are due for stakeholder review on October 9, 2020.
  • Hawaiian Electric expects Phase 2 projects will go online through 2021 with smaller projects ready for subscriber enrollment in the second half of 2021.

CBRE Phase 2 application capacity for each island, Tranche 1

As of July 26, 2020 Oahu Maui Hawaii Lanai Molokai
Phase 2, Tranche 1 Program Capacity (kW) 90,000 15,975 15,000 3,000 2,750
Total Applied Capacity (kW) - - - - -
Available Capacity (kW) 90,000 15,975 15,000 3,000 2,750
Capacity in Queue (kW) - - - - -
# Applications in Queue - - - - -

CBRE Phase 2 capacity limits for individual projects, Tranche 1

Location Large Projects Small Projects LMI
Oahu 75 MW 15 MW Minimum 1 uncapped project
Maui 12.5 MW 2.5 + 975 kW from Phase 1 Minimum 1 uncapped project
Hawaii Island 12.5 MW 2.5 MW Minimum 1 uncapped project
Lanai 2.5 + 500 kW from Phase 1 -
Molokai 2.5 + 250 kW from Phase 1 -

CBRE Phase 2 capacity limits for individual projects, Tranche 2

Location Large Projects Small Projects
Oahu 75 MW 5 MW
Maui 12.5 MW 2.5 MW
Hawaii Island 12.5 MW 2.5 MW

For more information