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Hawaiian Electric celebrates renewable energy milestones on Earth Day

Hawaiian Electric today — Earth Day — said it is reaffirming its commitment to help build more resilient communities and decarbonize energy systems across its five-island service territory.

The utility presented customers with its 2020-21 Corporate Sustainability Report, highlighting its progress toward the state’s goal of 100% renewable energy by 2045.

Among them:

>> Since 2010, Hawaiian Electric has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 24%. Also, the company said it used 107 million fewer gallons of oil in 2020 compared to 2008.

>> In 2020, Hawaiian Electric achieved a consolidated renewable portfolio of 35%, exceeding the state mandate of 30%, compared to just under 10% a decade ago.

>> In 2020, nearly 6,000 new private rooftop solar installations came online, and by 2022 there will be more than 4.4 million solar panels delivering energy to the utility’s grids.

Despite the pandemic, rooftop solar installations were up 55% in 2020 compared to 2019, according to Hawaiian Electric.

Nearly 6,000 new rooftop solar systems were installed across Oahu, Maui County and Hawaii island last year, bringing the total to nearly 88,000 in 2020. Of the new systems, 78% have battery storage.

Currently, about 20% of Hawaiian Electric’s residential customers, and 36% of single-family homes on Oahu, have rooftop solar. Hawaii continues to the lead the nation with the highest percentage of rooftop solar per capita.

Additionally:

>> Some 3.7 million solar panels are in use across Oahu, Maui County, and Hawaii island to support decarbonization. Several more solar-plus-storage projects are expected to come online in the next few years.

>> Hawaiian Electric owns and operates 25 fast chargers for the state’s approximately 14,000 passenger electric vehicles, with 13 on Oahu, six on Hawaii island, five on Maui, and one on Molokai. It also continues to support the state’s efforts to replace fossil-fueled combustion engine buses with more efficient electric buses.

>> Hawaiian Electric is a sponsor of Kanu Hawaii’s volunteer week this week, and has offered $60,000 in corporate grants to several environmental nonprofits.

The utility’s employees also are committed to improving the environment through community service project, such as beach cleanups, recycling, and tree planting.

Hawaiian Electric employees are also now invited to join the “Meatless Monday” movement to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, among other benefits.

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