Description: Challenge to Hawai‘i Public Utilities Commission’s denial of a competitive bidding waiver to a utility in connection with power purchase agreement with biomass power facility.
In re Hawai‘i Electric Light Co.
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 05/24/2021 Opinion Download Public Utilities Commission's orders vacated and case remanded for hearing. Hawai‘i Supreme Court Again Returned Biomass Power Purchase Agreement to Public Utilities Commission for Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions. On May 24, 2021, the Hawai‘i Supreme Court vacated the Hawai‘i Public Utilities Commission’s (PUC’s) purported denial of a competitive bidding waiver to a utility. The PUC denied the waiver after the Supreme Court issued a decision in 2019 that vacated the PUC’s decision and order approving the utility’s amended power purchase agreement (PPA) for construction and operation of a biomass power facility. The Supreme Court found that the PUC failed to expressly consider greenhouse gas emissions and had denied an environmental organization due process. In its 2021 decision, the Supreme Court indicated that the PUC misread its 2019 decision as having an impact on the competitive bidding waiver issued by the PUC in 2017. The Supreme Court remanded to the PUC for a hearing on the amended PPA that included the express consideration of greenhouse gas emissions and afforded the environmental organization an opportunity to address the amended PPA’s impacts on the organization’s right to a clean and healthful environment.