Hawaiian Electric hits 38% renewable energy in 2021

Return of geothermal boosts Hawaii Island to 60%

Release Date: 2/9/2022

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HONOLULU, Feb. 9, 2022 – Buoyed by a full year of geothermal production and an increase in private rooftop solar, Hawaiian Electric achieved a 38% consolidated renewable portfolio standard in 2021.

The 38.4% is the consolidated RPS for Oahu, Hawaii Island and Maui County, up from 34.5% in 2020. Over the past decade, the company has nearly quadrupled the amount of renewable energy on its electric grids, up from just under 10% in 2010.

“Everyone owns a piece of this remarkable progress,” said Shelee Kimura, president and CEO of Hawaiian Electric. “It marks a huge step forward in Hawaii’s transition away from reliance on imported fossil fuels and by continuing to work with our communities, government and other stakeholders we’re confident we can achieve our goal of reducing carbon emissions from power generation 70% by 2030.”

The RPS represents the renewable energy used by customers as a percentage of total utility sales. Other 2021 RPS highlights:

  • Hawaii Island hit 60% RPS, up from 43.4% in 2020, achieved mainly by a full year of production from Puna Geothermal returning to service at partial capacity. PGV came back online in November 2020 after it had been damaged by the Kilauea eruption in 2018.
  • Maui County achieved 50.2% RPS, down slightly from 50.8% in 2020. Although renewable production was up across Maui County in 2021, electricity sales also increased by 9%, mainly due to the strengthening of the tourism industry.
  • Oahu recorded 32.8% RPS, up from 30.5% in 2020. A full year of production at the Na Pua Makani wind facility contributed to the nearly 7% increase in renewable output.

In 2021, 4,956 private rooftop systems with 53 megawatts of capacity were added to the company’s five island grids. This 6% increase contributed to the higher RPS percentage. Overall, the increases in renewable energy were partially offset by an approximate 2% increase in electric sales.

The next RPS milestone required by state law is to reach 40% by 2030.