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Big Island Has State’s Highest Renewable Energy Percentage

The Hawai‘i Electric Light Company announces that the companies achieved a consolidated 27% renewable portfolio standard in 2017, up from 26% the year before. The increase was achieved primarily by the addition of new grid-scale and private rooftop solar systems.

Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawai‘i Electric Light are well on their way to achieving the next mandated RPS milestone, 30% by 2020.

RPS represents the renewable energy used by customers as a percentage of total utility sales. Hawai‘i Island, with a mix of geothermal, solar, wind and hydroelectricity, had the highest renewable percentage at 57%, up from 54% in 2016. Maui County was at 34%, compared with 37% in 2016, and O‘ahu was 21%, up from 19% in 2016.

Maui saw a decline due to a decrease in the available wind energy. Maui Electric used 95% of the total wind power available, the highest percentage ever accepted from the island’s three wind farms.

The three companies also track the peak renewable energy production for the year. These peaks are typically achieved on sunny, windy days when demand for electricity is low and renewable production is high. The peak on Hawai‘i Island was reached on Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017 when 83% of electricity demand was met by renewables. The peak was 77% on Maui on Sunday, June 4, 2017 and 53% on Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017 on O‘ahu.

On O‘ahu, the 27.6-megawatt Waianae Solar project began operation in early 2017 and is the largest solar installation in the state. Private rooftop solar accounted for more than 70% of the 109 megawatts of new PV generation that came online on the five islands of the companies’ service territory last year. Annually, those new resources will displace more than 350,000 barrels of oil used for power generation.

The next milestone on Hawai‘i’s path to 100%, renewable energy will be in 2020 when the renewable portfolio standard requirement is 30%. The companies expect to integrate hundreds of megawatts of new renewable generation by mid-2019. There are four grid-scale solar projects and a biofuel-capable power plant under construction on O‘ahu and two grid-scale solar projects close to completion on Maui. Continued growth of private rooftop solar is expected on all islands.

In addition, Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawai‘i Electric Light intend to issue requests for proposals in two stages over the next two years for renewable resources planned through 2022. Those include:

  • 220 megawatts (MW) of renewable generation for O‘ahu
  • 100 MW for the island of Maui
  • 50 MW for Hawaii Island

Gov. Abercrombie to Attend Blessing of Pohoiki PV Solar Farm in Puna

Tomorrow, Governor Neil Abercrombie will be in attendance to oversee the initial launch and blessing of the Pohoiki PV Solar Farm in Puna. Aunty Mahealani Henry will conduct the blessing, and music will be provided by Dewi Maile Lim and Friends.

Pohoiki Blessing

Greenpower Solutions LLC designed the solar farm to produce energy, food, and employment- three priorities for the state of Hawai`i. The plant is composed of 400 solar panels mounted on 9′ tall structures. The structures act as a frame for a greenhouse and aquaponic food growing system. Electricity is produced from the plant and is sold to Helco under a 20 year feed-in-tariff contract. The plant will produce enough energy to supply about 25 homes in Puna.

The Pohoiki PV Solar Farm is an example of the business potential of solar power in Puna and in the state. Electrical engineer and owner Raj Budhabhatti moved to Hawai`i in 2005 and started Greenpower Solutions to address Hawai`i’s energy needs. Greenpower aims to deliver innovative technical and financial solutions to turn energy challenge into energy opportunity.

The plant connects the local landowner with a private investor and uses technology created by Greenpower Solutions LLC. The landowner receives a percentage of the energy harvested monthly for the next 20 years. After that time the plant will belong to the landowner. The plant was designed and built using an all local professional workforce.

The plant was inspected by HELCO on March 13, 2013 and is currently in operation.

 

NY Times Features Hawaii Renewable Energy Plans

From Edison's Desk Blog: http://www.grcblog.com/?p=434

From Edison's Desk Blog: http://www.grcblog.com/?p=434

From the New York Times:

“Two miles or so from this tiny town in the southernmost corner of the United States, across ranches where cattle herds graze beneath the distant Mauna Loa volcano, the giant turbines of a new wind farm cut through the air…

Sixty miles to the northeast, near a spot where golden-red lava streams meet the sea in clouds of steam, a small power plant extracts heat from the volcanic rock beneath it to generate electricity.

These projects are just a slice of the energy experiment unfolding across Hawaii’s six main islands. With the most diverse array of alternative energy potential of any state in the nation, Hawaii has set out to become a living laboratory for the rest of the country, hoping it can slash its dependence on fossil fuels while keeping the lights on.

Every island has at least one energy accent: waves in Maui, wind in Lanai and Molokai, solar panels in Oahu and eventually, if all goes well, biomass energy from crops grown on Kauai. Here on the Big Island of Hawaii, seawater is also being converted to electricity…

…Each of the state’s six electric grids belongs to its own island and is unconnected to the others. And according to state figures, Hawaii still relies on imported oil to generate 77 percent of its electricity, a level of dependency unique in the United States. Coal-fired power provides 14 percent, and 9 percent comes from renewable sources like the wind or the sun…

…“The goals are very, very aggressive,” said Debra Lew, a senior project leader for the federal National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Three decades ago, Hawaii mapped out a similar vision, if in less detail, that came to nothing. But this time, planners say, failure is not an option. “We don’t have anywhere else to go,” said Ted Peck, the point man for the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, overseen by the State Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism

…For all the optimism, planners studiously remind themselves of the detritus of past failures, like the dismembered and rusting wind turbines of a defunct wind farm near the southern end of the Big Island.

“This transformation is going to take a generation,” said Ted Liu, director of the state economic development department. “There are no short-term easy solutions.”

Full Article:  Hawaii Eyes Green Tools in Remaking Power Grids

73 Year Old Grandma Nan Speaks Today on Solar Power (Video)

I just noticed that 73 Year Old Grandma Nan from Puna has posted another youtube clip today… I must say I like her sweatshirt.

Grandma Nan says that solar power gives her the power without the electric bill.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJF57dlyob0&hl=en&fs=1]