§269-27.2 Utilization of electricity generated from nonfossil fuels. (a) The public utilities commission shall investigate and determine the extent to which electricity generated from nonfossil fuel sources is available to public utilities that supply electricity to the public, which electricity is in excess of that utilized or otherwise needed by the producers for their internal uses and which the producers are willing to make available to the electric public utilities.
(b) The public utilities commission may direct public utilities that supply electricity to the public to arrange for the acquisition of and to acquire electricity generated from nonfossil fuel sources as is available from and the producers are willing and able to make available to the public utilities, and to employ and dispatch the nonfossil fuel generated electricity in a manner consistent with the availability thereof to maximize the reduction in consumption of fossil fuels in the generation of electricity to be provided to the public.
(c) The rate payable by the public utility to the producer for the nonfossil fuel generated electricity supplied to the public utility shall be as agreed between the public utility and the supplier and as approved by the public utilities commission; provided that in the event the public utility and the supplier fail to reach an agreement for a rate, the rate shall be as prescribed by the public utilities commission according to the powers and procedures provided in this chapter.
The commission's determination of the just and reasonable rate shall be accomplished by establishing a methodology that removes or significantly reduces any linkage between the price of fossil fuels and the rate for the nonfossil fuel generated electricity to potentially enable utility customers to share in the benefits of fuel cost savings resulting from the use of nonfossil fuel generated electricity. As the commission deems appropriate, the just and reasonable rate for nonfossil fuel generated electricity supplied to the public utility by the producer may include mechanisms for reasonable and appropriate incremental adjustments, such as adjustments linked to consumer price indices for inflation or other acceptable adjustment mechanisms.
(d) Upon application of a public utility that supplies electricity to the public, and notification of its customers, the commission, after an evidentiary hearing, may allow payments made by the public utility to nonfossil fuel producers for firm capacity and related revenue taxes to be recovered by the public utility through an interim increase in rates until the effective date of the rate change approved by the commission's final decision in the public utility's next general rate proceeding under section 269-16, notwithstanding any requirements to the contrary of any other provision in this chapter or in the commission's rules or practices; provided the amount recovered by the utility and the amount of increase in rates due to the payments for firm capacity and related revenue taxes to be charged to the consumers of the electricity are found by the commission to be:
(1) Just and reasonable;
(2) Not unduly prejudicial to the customers of the public utility;
(3) Promotional of Hawaii's long-term objective of energy self-sufficiency;
(4) Encouraging to the maintenance or development of nonfossil fueled sources of electrical energy; and
(5) In the overall best interest of the general public.
The evidentiary hearing provided for in this subsection shall be conducted expeditiously and shall be limited to evidence related to the above findings. Notwithstanding section 269-16, no public hearing shall be required, except as the commission in its discretion may require. [L 1977, c 102, §3; am L 1982, c 266, §2; am L 1983, c 243, §1; am L 1988, c 246, §2; am L 2004, c 95, §3; am L 2006, c 162, §3; am L 2008, c 207, §4; am L 2009, c 50, §2; am L 2016, c 27, §3]