HECO: Smart grid, demand response, storage will help Hawaii reach 100% renewables by 2045

Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on reddit
Reddit
Share on email
Email
Hawaii. Image: Renewable Energy Services facebook page.

A new plan submitted to the regulator from Hawaii’s main utility HECO shows how the state can continue to steer a course to meet its ambitious “100% renewable energy-powered” target.

From reaching 23% renewable energy in 2015, Hawaii is looking to completely switch to renewable sources by 2045. HECO and its subsidiaries Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric, and Hawaii Electric Light Company submitted its latest 30-year plan to the Hawaiian Public Utilities’ Commission (PUC) last week, outlining how it believes this could be done. The plan still requires approval by the PUC, while the overall three decades-long scope will be revisited every half-decade.

Suggested measures in this Power Supply Improvement Programme include the creation of smart grids, better demand side measures, continuing to support rooftop solar and favouring liquid natural gas (LNG) as a cleaner fuel than diesel and other petroleum products commonly relied upon by islanders. The plan also called for some 350MW of requests for proposals (RfPs) for new renewables capacity to be developed through a competitive process by 2022.

The electricity companies also want to see circuit level improvements on all of Hawaii’s islands to accommodate more renewables and for more energy storage to be deployed at utility-scale and linked with rooftop PV while supporting innovation and tech trials involving storage. More community solar programmes, a growing favourite topic for utilities in the US at present, was also called for.

Is Hawaii a ‘test bed’ for US solar?

Often cited as the US state thought to host the most installed PV capacity per head, Hawaii is sometimes referred to as a “test bed” for how larger regions might cope with rising levels of renewables penetration onto the grid. Net metering policy was suspended for new customers on the islands in October. What is thought to be the first distributed resources trade association group in the US was formed in the state towards the end of last year by companies including micro-inverter maker Enphase and “intelligent” commercial storage provider Stem.

In an interview for PV Tech's sister site Energy Storage News, Stem’s VP for Hawaii, Tad Glauthier, explained many of the ways in which Hawaii could be described as a forerunner in distributed PV, the lessons the rest of the US and the rest of the world could learn from it – and what lessons may not be as easily transferable elsewhere.

However the near-term future could be uncertain for Hawaii’s power sector. The Hawaiian Electric group of companies is in negotiations to sell a significant stake in its equity to NextEra Energy, which has been a controversial proposal for many consumers and industry observers.

Read Next

April 14, 2021
Meyer Burger is on track to start shipments of its first heterojunction (HJ) solar modules made in Germany to distributors in July.
March 30, 2021
Local authorities in New South Wales, Australia, have given French independent power producer Neoen the green light to develop a large scale solar-plus-storage production facility in the region despite receiving 50 complaints from members of the public.
PV Tech Premium
March 29, 2021
In the first of a series of exclusive editorial columns for PV Tech Premium subscribers, editor in chief Liam Stoker urges energy regulators around the world to nurture home solar installations, or pay the price with delayed climate action
March 29, 2021
Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker signed a state climate bill on Friday that creates benchmarks for the adoption of solar power technologies.
March 25, 2021
Thin-film laser systems equipment supplier LPKF Laser & Electronics suffered from delays in receiving new expected orders from two long-stand customers last year.
March 23, 2021
Lightsource bp has been selected to build, own and operate seven solar arrays in Pennsylvania that will provide nearly half of the state government’s electricity.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
April 20, 2021
Upcoming Webinars
April 28, 2021
4:00 - 4:30 PM CET
Solar Media Events
May 11, 2021