Hawaiian Electric Companies achieved 27 percent renewable energy in 2017

At 57 percent, Hawaii Island has state’s highest renewable percentage

Release Date: 2/8/2018

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HONOLULU, Feb. 8, 2018 - The Hawaiian Electric Companies achieved a consolidated 27 percent renewable portfolio standard in 2017, up from 26 percent the year before. The increase was achieved primarily by the addition of new grid-scale and private rooftop solar systems.

Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light are well on their way to achieving the next mandated RPS milestone, 30 percent by 2020.

RPS represents the renewable energy used by customers as a percentage of total utility sales. Hawaii Island, with a mix of geothermal, solar, wind and hydroelectricity, had the highest renewable percentage at 57 percent, up from 54 percent in 2016. Maui County was at 34 percent, compared with 37 percent in 2016, and Oahu was 21 percent, up from 19 percent in 2016.

Maui saw a decline due to a decrease in the available wind energy. Maui Electric used 95 percent of the total wind power available, the highest percentage ever accepted from the island's three wind farms.

The three companies also track the peak renewable energy production for the year. These peaks are typically achieved on sunny, windy days when demand for electricity is low and renewable production is high. The peak on Hawaii Island was reached on Dec. 3, 2017 when 83 percent of electricity demand was met by renewables. The peak was 77 percent on Maui on June 4, 2017 and 53 percent on Aug. 17, 2017 on Oahu.

On Oahu, the 27.6-megawatt Waianae Solar project began operation in early 2017 and is the largest solar installation in the state. Private rooftop solar accounted for more than 70 percent of the 109 megawatts of new PV generation that came online on the five islands of the companies' service territory last year. Annually, those new resources will displace more than 350,000 barrels of oil used for power generation.

The next milestone on Hawaii's path to 100 percent clean, renewable energy will be in 2020 when the renewable portfolio standard requirement is 30 percent. The companies expect to integrate hundreds of megawatts of new renewable generation by mid-2019. There are fourgrid-scale solar projects and a biofuel-capable power plant under construction on Oahu and two grid-scale solar projects close to completion on Maui. Continued growth of private rooftop solaris expected on all islands.

In addition, Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light intend to issue requests for proposals in two stages over the next two years for renewable resources planned through 2022. Those include:

  • 220 megawatts (MW) of renewable generation for Oahu
  • 100 MW for the island of Maui
  • 50 MW for Hawaii Island