ORIGINAL REPORTING: A Close Look At Hawaii’s Plan To Get To 100% New Energy
Third time's the charm? Inside Hawaiian Electric's new, new plan to get to 100% renewables; Stakeholders applaud the move away from LNG but question the costs and HECO’s vision
Herman K. Trabish, Jan. 18, 2017 (Utility Dive)
Editor’s note: The utilities commission just acceoted this report. It praised the positive features described here and put the utilities on notice that they will be held responsible for the shortcomings described here.
The long-term energy plan to get Hawaii to 100% renewables by 2045 got better reviews than its two predecessors but stakeholders raised two main concerns about the Power Supply Improvement Plan (PSIP) from the Hawaiian Electric Companies (HECO), the state’s dominant electricity providers. First, the 100% renewables mandate may come at an unaffordable price for customers. Second, three key stakeholder groups raised longstanding concerns about HECO’s vision for distributed resources and the evolution of its business model.
HECO’s first PSIP was filed in 2014, and roundly rejected by regulators in Nov. 2015. HECO then filed another plan in 2016 that was withdrawn when state regulators rejected a proposed merger with NextEra Energy. The basis of the latest PSIP is a five-year action plan that would take the state to 48% renewables by 2020 and to 72% renewables by 2030. By 2021, Hawaii would have 326 MW of distributed photovoltaic solar generation (DG-PV), 360 MW of utility-scale PV, 157 MW of utility-scale wind energy, 114.7 MW of demand response (DR), and 31 MW of feed-in tariff-funded renewables. But potential generation mixes that would get Hawaii to 100% renewables by 2045 could cost Oahu utility customers an estimated $26.5 billion by 2045. Costs to Maui and Hawaii Island utility customers add $10 billion more… click here for more