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

December 2, 2021
Enel Green Power has named Paolo Romanacci as the new head of its North America division, overseeing all renewables activities in the US and Canada.
December 1, 2021
Major US bank Wells Fargo has closed its maiden tax equity investment into a colocated solar-storage project currently under construction in New Mexico, US.
December 1, 2021
Tech major Amazon has added a further 2GW to its committed utility-scale solar PV capacity, adding projects in the US and Europe to its renewables portfolio.
November 30, 2021
JinkoSolar has slashed its shipments guidance for the year, reducing its top end guidance by more than 5GW as it blamed ongoing logistics issues and port blockages.
November 24, 2021
The US International Trade Commission has recommended that the Section 201 safeguard tariffs on solar cells and modules be extended.
November 15, 2021
US solar manufacturers behind the controversial anti-circumvention petition have said they are “evaluating all options” and could refile petitions in the future.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
February 1, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
February 23, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 23, 2022
Austin, Texas, USA
Solar Media Events
March 29, 2022
Lisbon, Portugal