Renewable Energy Sources
Hawaii is a National Leader in Solar Power
Solar power provides a significant boost to Hawaii's efforts to build a clean energy future. By the end of 2015, Oahu residents had nearly 41,600 rooftop solar systems with a capacity of 343 MW, significantly more than the largest conventional generator on the island. Hawaii Island residents had installed 9,700 systems with a 70 MW capacity and Maui County residents had installed over 9,300 systems with a 74 MW capacity.
The capacity of installed utility-scale solar is now over six megawatts on Oahu and 1.2 megawatts on Lanai.
Solar Research Projects Makes More Renewable Power Possible
Hawaiian Electric continues to initiate and support many renewable energy research and development projects to help develop these technologies and to address some of the barriers to using them.
Solar Water Heating
With our clear, sunny skies, Hawaii has one of the most successful solar water heating programs in the country. An energy efficiency rebate in addition to state and federal tax credits make solar water heating one of the smartest ways to improve a home and save money monthly. The typical installation cost can be recovered within five years, given today's lower cost of electricity. After that, the savings all go right to the family budget.
For 13 years, Hawaiian Electric administered promotion, inspection and rebate programs to encourage Hawaii homeowners to put solar water heaters on their roofs . Since 2009, administration of those programs transferred to Hawaii Energy, a subsidiary of LEIDOS Corporation, working under contract for the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission. Hawaii continues to lead the nation in per capita solar water heaters. Today, about one in four single-family homes in Hawaii use the sun to heat all or most of the water that residents use, offsetting a significant amount of electric demand.
Quick facts about solar water heating in Hawaii.
- An estimated 90,000 residential solar water heating systems are in operation in Hawaiian Electric service territories. (Estimate courtesy Hawaii Energy Efficiency Program.)
- One in four single-family homes in Hawaii has solar water heating.
Homeowners who install solar water heating systems can get help with cash rebates provided by the Hawaii Energy Efficiency Program. The rebates, along with state and federal tax credits, can dramatically lower costs.