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HECO sees doubling of rooftop solar by 2030


    Hawaiian Electric Co. expects there will be 165,000 private solar systems operating by 2030 across HECO’s territories, up from 79,000 now, theutility said today.

Hawaiian Electric Co. expects there will be 165,000 private solar systems operating by 2030 across HECO’s territories, up from 79,000 now, the utility said today.

HECO submitted the fourth version of its plans on how it will get the state to 100 percent renewable energy dependence today. The steps include adding utility-scale solar, customer sited-batteries and rooftop solar, wind and biofuels.

HECO said it expects 42 percent of homes in its territories to have rooftop solar by 2030.

The plan was submitted to the state Public Utilities Commission for approval. The PUC sent HECO back to the drawing board for three previous drafts.

In August the commission said it wanted concrete details about HECO’s “near-term” plans.

The utility lumped its three territories together — Oahu, Maui County and Hawaii island — to provide the renewable-energy portfolio.

By 2020 HECO said renewables would make up 48 percent of the power mix — more than 15 percent of that coming from customer-sited renewables.

HECO said, in the next five years, it plans to add 360 megawatts of utility scale solar, 157 megawatts of utility scale wind and 115 megawatts from demand response programs, which encourage customers to use electricity when more renewable energy is on the grid.

HECO said Molokai would reach 100 percent by 2020.

That year, the Big Island is expected to hit 80 percent renewable, Maui 63 percent, Lanai 59 percent. Oahu would reach 40 percent by 2020.

The state’s goal for the five-year benchmark is a 30 percent across HECO’s the service areas.

HECO said it will achieve 100 percent five years prior to the 2045 deadline.

The electricity utility said it plans to get to 100 percent by the end of 2040, when the law requires 70 percent.

HECO’s portfolio will be 72 percent renewable by the end of 2030, according to the plan. The law calls for 40 percent in 2030.

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  • cholo thinks heco is really testing the intelligence of the puc. do they really expect iwase to believe they can get to 100% renewables by adding only intermittent power? no amount of energy storage is going to suffice to supply oahu at night. there needs to be another source of baseload power that is renewable. oh right they’re going to count biofuels as renewable which costs even more than fuel oil. they’ll need to invest millions and millions into the old power plants to convert them to biofuels. in the end we’ll still be paying for the most expensive electricity in the nation. what a plan. thanks a lot!

        • Lets be honest. HECO is not going to get the state to 100 percent renewable energy at any time. Fact is HECO’s incompetency is the biggest road block to reaching the 100% renewable energy goal. Same for Iwase, another roadblock.

          Energy monitoring technology exists to allow every home to have PV without a battery backup. System monitors PV output to the home, blocks it from going out to the grid. When PV power drops below the home’s needs, system allows grid power in. HECO doesn’t want to talk about it as it cuts into their profits, prefers to over charge ratepayers.

          If the Nei replaced every energy wasting street, parking lot, industrial light bulbs with high efficiency LEDs power usage would drop dramatically. Maintenance costs down as they last so much longer. State/city would spend less on energy costs, saving taxpayers. Sad to say our elected bureaucrats lack the leadership to make this happen.

          Just another day in the little 10th world of Hawaii Nei.

    • Geothermal is the only solution that will lead to lowering Hawaii’s long term electricity rates and stabilizing the energy environment. The good news is we have a ton of it. It is a base load energy that will not increase over the lifetime of the PPA contract except for “inflation” costs. The toxicity is near to nothing and compared to what we have with oil its a non issue. And for the ignorant Google scientists, Geothermal does not require “tracking” in traditional volcanic systems like Hawaii. Fracking is used in deserts like Reno!

      • Just run the lava from Volcanoes National Park to Oahu on a conveyor 😉 That or build a big lava/steam power plant there and just run the cables under the sea to the remaining islands. That’ll make HI’s power “100% certified Aloha ORGANIC”, as they like to call it 😉

      • Geothermal electrical production is proven technology around the world while it languishes in the Nei. Iceland is a pioneer in its use.

        There is no reason whatsoever for the Big Island to not be 100% powered by Geo. Sad to say HECO lacks the management and technological skills to make this happen. Prefers to stick with the Jurassic oil fired power plants for the majority of power.

        Just another day in the little 10th world of Hawaii Nei.

  • I got a question. Since I rent and don’t have solar, with the cost saving for those with solar does that mean people like me will pay higher rates if HECO collects less?

    • give the current billing model those without solar could pay more depending on which program each pv owner is under. in essence, each pv owner is like an IPP or independent power producer. we’ll pay more for the power sent back to the grid by pv owners under the original NEM. then not so much for those under the next program where heco was paying them 15 something cents for electricity sent back to the grid. if we’re paying for electricity that is coming mostly from original NEM customers then that would not be beneficial to the everyone else.

    • Would be a big fat 0 if the systems were not subsidized, which I have a feeling will be going away under Trump. Cheapest form of energy is and always will be oil.

  • Rooftop solar is moving at a snail’s pace since NEM and Grid-Supply ended. A few hundred Self-Supply systems so far and will only increase if battery costs drop considerably and rebates are offered for battery installations. Doubling Rooftop Solar is a far reach.

  • Our electricity is still cheap, this article is just a distraction from the real issues. For those that live right on the beach, no need to use AC except on the worst of days. The average electric bill on Oahu is about the same as it is on the mainland at the end of the month.

    Try living on the mainland in a state like Arizona, Utah, New Mexico and you’ll easily rack up a $500 a month electric bill just to keep the AC running despite the cheap cost per KW of electricity there. Or the inverse, a cold state like NY, North Dakota, Minnesota where your heating bills to keep warm will eat most of your paycheck.

    What we really need to worry about is the most critical item, the fresh water supply and the lack of it! This island can’t maintain the massive population and the elected nitwits continue to pump the sales pitch to build literally 11,000 extra homes on the West Side and countless thousands of new condos. Absolute insanity! Just watch your water and sewer bills crush you in coming years.

    • Your post lacks credibility. Average cost per KWH on the mainland is $0.12 while in the Nei it is $0.33, almost 300% higher. Mainland homes tend to be better insulated with double pane windows, fiberglass or spray foam insulation in the walls and attic, insulated fiberglass doors and more. This also lowers winter heating bills drastically. Sad to say in the Nei home insulation is a lost art. Exactly why those A/C bills are so high.

      In many parts of the USA like Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and others, they use “Swamp (Evaporative) Coolers” versus conventional A/C to cool the home. With no humidity, these units are far more efficient then conventional home A/C, a real savings on energy usage. So no, they do not pay $500 a month for electricity.

      There is one and only one solution to the Nei’s looming water shortages. It is the “Toilet to Tap” water reusage program now coming online in many USA cities. Proven technology from the space program, it greatly reduces the need for new sources of water. Treated water is mixed with fresh, filtered many times, put back into the system. It works. Deal with the “Ick Factor” as Astronauts have done for decades.

      • localguy, swamp coolers!??? brah, you must be stuck in the 1940’s? hahahahaha I haven’t even seen a single house on the mainland with a swamp cooler and I’ve traveled through many cities across the US over my lifetime. I take it back, I might have possibly seen one house with a swamp cooler as I was driving by in Florida but never entered the home. LOL
        Here’s my source to back my claim:

        As far as costs, homeowners pay about $300 a month for electricity in Phoenix Arizona. Google it yourself. Don’t look at the average because the average includes apartment dwellers with small square footage. Just look up the electric bill for the average 1600 sq foot 3-bedroom home.

      • I also wanted to comment on your “Toilet to tap” idea. Trust me, the water literally tastes like $hit. Every time I fly into the 3rd world illegal immigrant cesspool of California or Nevada where they have “Toilet to tap” the water is absolutely undrinkable with the horrendous taste it has from all the meds, illicit drugs, pesticides and waste that gets flushed down the drains and can’t be 100% fully filtered out.

        The only solution is to not allow Oahu to overpopulate until a real viable solution is found.

    • Our electricity is not cheap. Very simple to look this up. The average bill is not $500. It may be for a few individuals in August in an uninsulated house. Regardless, the electricity itself, not including the climate factors is 3 times higher here.

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