Hawaiian Electric Cos. nearing 30% renewable energy
Hawaiian Electric Cos. said it is on track to achieving its next renewable- energy milestone despite the loss of Hawaii island’s geothermal resource for most of 2018 following the Kilauea volcanic eruption.
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Hawaiian Electric Cos. said it is on track to achieving its next renewable-
energy milestone despite the loss of Hawaii island’s geothermal resource for most of 2018 following the Kilauea volcanic eruption.
The three utilities — Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light — said Tuesday they achieved 27 percent of their sales from renewable energy last year — the same as in 2017. The consolidated number would have been 29 percent last year had Puna Geothermal Venture produced at the same level as 2017, the companies said.
Still, the companies said they didn’t lose any ground in their effort to reach
100 percent renewable energy in 2045 and are “well on their way” to achieving the next state-mandated renewable portfolio standard (RPS) milestone of 30 percent in 2020. RPS represents the renewable energy used by customers as a percentage of total utility sales.
The companies said their 27 percent RPS is up from just 9 percent a decade ago and that their annual use of fossil fuels has declined by 88 million gallons, or about 19 percent, over the past
The leading utility in renewable energy has been
Hawaii Electric Light on the Big Island, with the mix of geothermal (through May), solar, wind and hydroelectricity at 44 percent. That was down from 57 percent in 2017 due to the shutdown of Puna Geothermal Venture. It would have reached 64 percent if PGV was online for the full year.
Maui Electric recorded
38 percent in 2018, up from 34 percent in 2017, and Oahu was at 22 percent, up from 21 percent the previous year.
The companies also track peak renewable-energy production, with the peaks typically achieved on sunny, windy days when demand for electricity is low and renewable production is high. The peak on Hawaii island last year was on April 14, when 79 percent of electricity demand was met by renewables. The peak was
80 percent on Maui on April 14, and 58 percent on Oahu on May 19.
Maui’s first grid-scale solar arrays — Kuia Solar and South Maui Renewable Resources — came online last year, while regulators approved Molokai’s first large-scale solar-plus-storage renewable project, Molokai New Energy Partners.
On Oahu the 20-megawatt West Loch Solar facility in Ewa will come online this year along with three Clearway Energy solar facilities totaling 110 megawatts.
Power purchase agreements for seven solar-plus-
storage facilities on Oahu, Hawaii island and Maui were filed in 2018 with the state Public Utilities Commission to lay the groundwork for the largest surge in renewable energy in state history.
Hawaiian Electric Cos. said by 2022 there will be more than 4.4 million solar panels delivering energy to the grid.