[NEWS] Biomass Deal Will Increase Electricity Rates in Hawaii
– by John Burnett, May 27, 2017, Hawaii Tribune Herald
If Hu Honua Bioenergy’s long-delayed biomass power plant were to go online by the end of 2018, Hawaii Electric Light Company’s ratepayers would see increases in their electricity bills, according to an analysis HELCO filed Wednesday with the state Public Utilities Commission of a proposed power purchase agreement.
HELCO’s study used as its baseline the most recent power supply improvement plan, or PSIP, filed by HELCO in December, which includes how to gather 100 percent of energy from renewable sources such as solar, wind, water and biomass by 2045, a goal required by state law.
The computer simulation model used by the utility found the benefit-to-cost ratio of Hu Honua’s proposal is 0.9. A ratio of 1.0 or higher indicates the benefits exceed the cost.
The analysis found a consumer using 500 kilowatt hours of electricity per month would initially experience a $5.31 bill increase in 2019. The increase would gradually decline, and by 2037 customers’ bills would be 47 cents higher than in 2018. Starting in 2038, ratepayers would start to see monthly savings, and in 2048, the final year of the 30-year deal, the total monthly savings would be $5.76 a month.