Leading the Way to a Clean Energy Future for Hawaii
To achieve our vision of clean energy future for our islands, we understand the importance of more renewable energy. Today, Hawaiian Electric and its subsidiaries provide electricity and services to 95 percent of the state's 1.4 million residents.
In 2013, Maui Electric crews completed grid upgrades on the Maalaea to Kamalii 69-kilovolt transmission line. The upgrades will meet the existing and future electrical needs of the growing South Maui community. Operational improvements were also made to use more wind energy.
During fall 2013, Maui residents were given the opportunity to participate in the JumpSmartMaui demonstration project designed to aid in the development of a more-efficient power grid. This collaborative project among Japan, the State of Hawaii, and Maui county utilizes smart grid technology to improve Maui Electric operations, increase electric system reliability, and help our customers make smarter energy choices.
In 2015, the Public Utilities Commission approved Maui Electric’s plans to buy electricity from two commercial solar projects, the first of their kind on Maui. The two 2.87-MW projects to be built by South Maui Renewable Resources and Kuia Solar are expected to provide solar power at the low price of 11.06 cents per kilowatt-hour.
During 2015, Maui Electric integrated 8 solar Feed-in Tariff projects with a total capacity of 1.8 MW of clean energy. We also accepted 264,291 MWh of wind energy, a 6,384 MWh increase over the previous year and the highest level ever achieved.
In 2016, Maui Electric made its eighth appearance on Smart Electric Power Alliance’s annual Top 10 list of utilities connecting the most solar watts per customer to the grid. Maui Electric recorded 386 solar watts per customer with 2,149 systems as of December 31, 2015.
The Hawaiian Electric Companies were also honored for the Renewable Integration Project of the Year at the 2016 DistribuTECH Conference, the nation's largest annual meeting focused on electricity transmission and distribution. The project team, led by the Hawaiian Electric director of renewable energy planning, included engineers from Maui Electric.
In 2017, Maui Electric began construction on two new integrated substations, Kuihelani and Kaonoulu, which will provide the capability to integrate more renewable energy resources to the grid through improved monitoring and the latest communications equipment.
Maui Electric ranked third in energy storage with an accumulated 36.5 watts per customer and ninth in annual energy storage megawatts added in 2017 at 2.6 MW on SEPA’s annual Top 10 utility lists. The number of residential customers in Maui County that have rooftop solar installed or are approved for installation increased as well from 19 percent to 20.
In 2018 the 2.87 MW Kuia Solar in West Maui and 2.87 MW South Maui Renewable on Haleakala Ranch came online, adding to Maui County’s renewable energy portfolio. This helped to increase Maui Electric’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) from 34% in 2017 to 38%.
In 2019, Maui County achieved 41 percent RPS with the mix of solar, wind and biofuels, up from 38 percent in 2018. Installation of residential rooftop solar systems used by Hawaiian Electric Companies customers increased 4.5 percent from 2018 as well. 33 percent of single-family homes in Maui County now have rooftop solar.
The Public Utilities Commission approved the AES Kuihelani grid-scale solar-plus-storage project in March of 2019. The 60 MW, 120 MWh Battery Energy Storage System facility is expected to be completed in 2021.