Hawaiian Electric Companies reached 27 percent renewable portfolio in 2017

Source: By Chris Galford, Daily Energy Insider • Posted: Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Hawaii’s electric companies reached a new milestone last year, gaining a percentage point toward consolidated renewable energy and drawing them up to a total of 27 percent.

The driving force behind this for Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric, and Hawaii Electric Light was the addition of new grid-scale and private rooftop solar systems. The three companies are mandated by the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), which represents the renewable energy used by customers as a percentage of total utility sales.

A 30 percent milestone must be reached by 2020 under the demands of the RPS. Supporting that, the companies have planned for four grid-scale solar projects and a biofuel capable power plant on Oahu, as well as two grid-scale solar projects in Maui and continued private rooftop solar operations.

Hawaii Island is leading the pack, though, with the state’s highest renewable percentage: 57 percent. That’s due to the eclectic nature of renewables on the island, which uses geothermal, solar, wind and hydroelectricity. Its next closest competitor was Maui County, which held at 34 percent, and actually declined by 3 percent over the year due to a decrease in wind energy.

The three companies also plan to issue requests for proposals (RFPs) over the next two years that will carry them until 2022. Those include 220 megawatts (MW) of renewable generation on Oahu, 100 MW for Maui and 50 MW on Hawaii Island.