ORIGINAL REPORTING: How Hawaii Can Get To 100% New Energy
Inside Hawaiian Electric's new plan to get to 100% renewables; LNG, the NextEra merger and the role of DERs are the major sticking points emerging from the utility's new power supply plan
Herman K. Trabish, April 14, 2016 (Utility Dive)
Editor’s Note: Since this piece ran, regulators blocked the HECO-Next Era merger and the utility has begun rethinking its long term plan.
The Hawaiian Electric Companies (HECO) Power Supply Improvement Plan (PSIP), filed April 1, is their third attempt at a roadmap to detail how the utility will comply with Hawaii's historic Act 97, which mandated that the state shift to 100% renewable electricity generation by 2045.In an interview with Utility Dive, Colton Ching, HECO's vice president for energy delivery, said the new plan will help his utility end its current reliance on fossil fuels (especially fuel oil) for electricity generation and change the paradigm so that renewables do not supplement the system but are the entire energy system with a diverse portfolio of renewables.
Overall, the two-volume, 1,200-plus page filing (docket 2014-0183) calls for Hawaii’s 2045 electricity generation mix to be composed of 16.1% distributed solar, 10.2% utility-scale solar, 33.4% onshore and offshore wind energy, 26.9% biofuels, 6.5% geothermal energy, 6.5% waste and biomass, and 0.4% hydropower. The utility intends to exceed Act 97 requirements by getting to 100% renewables for Molokai and Lanai by 2030 and by 2040 for Maui and Hawaii Island. Achieving those levels of renewable penetration will allow it to meet the 70% system-wide renewables target by 2040 while it scales Oahu, the most populous island, up to 100% renewables. The question of whether it emphasizes distributed generation adequately and is transparent enough remains to be decided…