Hawaii developer to seek EPC contractors for pumped-storage project

Paniolo Power Co. LLC plans to issue a request for qualifications in September seeking an engineering-procurement-construction contractor to develop a pumped-storage hydroelectric project on Parker Ranch in Hawaii.

Paniolo Power, a subsidiary of 250,000-acre Parker Ranch Inc., plans to issue the RFQ as part of an integrated resource plan Parker Ranch is developing with a consortium led by Siemens. The IRP is evaluating a community-based energy solution for Greater Waimea and the Kohala Region on the island of Hawaii.

The energy developer said it wants to quantify the capital costs and identify design requirements for a wide range of pumped-storage solutions, from 10 MW to as much as 200 MW. Pumped storage would allow wind and solar energy that otherwise would be curtailed to pump water to an upper reservoir from which the water would be released in the evening to meet peak loads now served by expensive oil-fired generation.

“The elevation change of 7,000 feet on Parker Ranch is a strategic asset,” Parker Ranch Chief Executive Neil “Dutch” Kuyper said July 31. “If an undersea cable is possible for Maui, perhaps it’s possible for Hawaii Island in the long run. And if that is the case, Parker Ranch could enable a large-scale storage solution as part of an integrated statewide grid.”

Kuyper noted Kauai Island Utility Cooperative said in July that integrating pumped-storage hydropower into its system could increase that island’s renewable energy penetration by 15 percent, making use of daytime solar energy that might otherwise be curtailed and reducing Kauai’s dependence on oil-fired generation. KIUC has obtained access to two potential pumped storage sites on that island.

Canadian power company Kruger Energy last year partnered with Pacific Light & Power and Orenco Hydropower to develop the 8.6-MW Puu Lua hydropower project to generate power for a local farmers cooperative and for KIUC.

Paniolo Power said it is to issue the pumped storage RFQ in September and a subsequent request for information to a shortlist of RFQ respondents. Wind, solar, geothermal and battery-storage RFQs also are being considered separately.

Prospective bidders may receive a copy of the RFQ when it is released by contacting by e-mail Jonathan Mitchell, Manager of Corporate Development, Parker Ranch, 66-1304 Mamalahoa Hwy., Kamuela, HI 96743; (1) 808-885-7311; E-mail: jmitchell@parkerranch.com; Internet: www.paniolopower.com.

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