Hawaiian Electric Companies Submit Updated Energy Plans

Companies will reach 48% renewable electricity by 2020, including 100% renewable on Moloka’i

The Hawaiian Electric Companies today outlined a detailed plan charting the near-term actions that will lead to the use of renewable resources to meet 100 percent of Hawai’i’s power generation needs by 2045.

The Power Supply Improvement Plan Update filed with the Hawai’i Public Utilities Commission describes the work that will form the foundation to meet or exceed the state’s renewable energy milestones, which are the most ambitious in the country.

The updated plan describes greater and faster expansion of the companies’ renewable energy portfolio than in the plan filed in April 2016 and emphasizes work that is in progress or planned over the next five years on each of the five islands the Hawaiian Electric Companies serve.

It also stresses the need to remain flexible so that decisions made today don’t crowd out future technological advances in power generation, distribution and storage.

The companies forecast that they will exceed the state’s renewable energy milestones in 2020 and can exceed the milestones in 2030 and 2040 by attaining a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) of:

  • 48 percent by the end of 2020; the mandated goal is 30 percent
  • At least 72 percent by the end of 2030; the mandated goal is 40 percent
  • At least 100 percent by the end of 2040; the mandated goal is 70 percent. This would be five years ahead of the 2045 deadline to reach the goal of 100 percent renewable energy.

The plan estimates that the RPS after 2030 could exceed 100 percent when taking into account customers’ generation of electricity for their own use as well as the anticipated widespread use of battery storage.

In the near-term, using a proposed mix of solar, wind, battery storage and biofuels, the plan aims to achieve an RPS of 100 percent on Moloka’i by 2020.

By 2020, Hawai’i Island is forecast to reach an RPS of 80 percent, Maui 63 percent, Lānaʻi 59 percent and O’ahu 40 percent.

The plan includes the continued growth of private rooftop solar and describes the work to expand and upgrade grid infrastructure and to use the newest generations of inverters, control systems and energy storage to help reliably integrate an estimated total of 165,000 private systems by 2030, more than double today’s total of 79,000. Hawaiian Electric already has the highest percentage of customers using rooftop solar of any utility in the U.S. and customer-sited storage is seen as a key contributor to the growth of the renewable portfolio on every island.

In addition, the plan forecasts the addition of 360 megawatts of grid‑scale solar, 157 megawatts of grid‑scale wind and 115 megawatts from programs known as Demand Response, which can shift customer use of electricity to times when more renewable energy is available, potentially making room to add even more renewable resources.

“The energy transformation must include everyone” is one of seven principles that the Hawaiian Electric Companies developed to broadly help define the mission of the power supply improvement plan. The need to balance the pursuit of renewable energy with price stability and affordability for customers is described throughout the plan. Investments in grid infrastructure, as well as rising oil prices, are expected to increase the typical residential bill over the next several years, with gradually declining bills forecast to start in the mid-2020s.

A change from the document filed in April is that this update does not include the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to generate power in the near-term. While LNG remains a potential lower-cost bridge fuel to be evaluated, the companies’ priority is to continue replacing fossil fuel generation with renewables over the next five years as federal tax incentives for renewables begin to phase out.

An interisland cable is not in the near-term plan, which states that its costs and benefits should continue to be evaluated.

The plan also provides a solid foundation for the electrification of transportation, reducing the use of fossil fuels for ground transportation. For example, charging electric vehicles during the day when renewable energy is abundant could create an additional demand for renewables.

The Hawaiian Electric Companies are exploring additional actions and resources beyond those described in the plan. For example, working with land owners and developers, planners are exploring pumped storage hydropower, run-of-the-river hydropower, hydrogen and wave energy as potential additions. As part of this ongoing exploration, the companies recently issued a Request for Information to land owners who may be interested in teaming with a developer to host a renewable energy project.

“We have a solid plan that accelerates our progress to get to 100 percent renewable energy. We can do this,” said Alan Oshima, Hawaiian Electric president and CEO.  “We want to work with parties from all segments of our community — government, business, community, and environmental groups – to refine the plans for Hawai’i’s energy future.”

The companies followed an open, collaborative process to develop these plans, participating in multiple stakeholder workshops and technical conferences to share information and ideas. Planners ran and analyzed multiple scenarios to balance the desires for reliability, affordability and sustainability.

Among the stakeholders who provided input into the plan are the state Consumer Advocate; Ulupono Initiative; Blue Planet Foundation; Hawai’i Gas; Paniolo Power on Hawai’i Island and the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

Additional independent technical analysis was provided by the U.S. Department of Energy, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute and the Electric Power Research Institute.

Waikiki-Diamond Head Shoreline Fisheries Management Area Will Close to Fishing for Year Starting Jan. 1, 2017

The Waikiki-Diamond Head Shoreline Fisheries Management Area (SFMA), O‘ahu, will be closed to fishing for one year, from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2017.

The SFMA encompasses the nearshore waters between the ‘Ewa wall of the Waikiki War Memorial Natatorium and the Diamond Head Lighthouse, from the high-water mark on shore to a minimum seaward distance of 500 yards, or to the edge of the fringing reef if one occurs beyond 500 yards.  The area is closed to fishing during odd-numbered years.

“The periodic closure of Waikiki-Diamond Head SFMA to fishing is intended to give fish a temporary break from fishing pressure,” said Bruce Anderson, administrator of the DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources.  “Waikiki-Diamond Head is the only area in the state where this management approach is used, and we are in the process of re-evaluating its effectiveness in rebuilding fish populations over the long term.”

Fishing is not allowed at any time in the adjacent Waikiki Marine Life Conservation District (MLCD), which extends from the ‘Ewa wall of the Natatorium to the Kapahulu groin (jetty).

Copies of statewide fishing regulations are available at the Division of Aquatic Resources (DAR) main office, 1151 Punchbowl St., Room 330, Honolulu, all neighbor island DAR offices, at many sporting goods stores, and on the DAR web site at dlnr.hawaii.gov/dar.

To report violations of any fishing regulation, please call the DLNR enforcement hotline at (808) 643-DLNR (643-3567).

Drones are Prohibited on USAG-Hawaii Installations

Unmanned aircraft systems, or UAS (also known as unmanned aerial vehicles, UAVs or drones), once relegated to intelligence gathering and military activities, are now widely available to hobbyists and commercial enterprises.
Nearly half a million people nationwide have registered drones with the Federal Aviation Administration since December 2015.

In Hawaii, more than 3,000 drones have been registered as of May, according to FAA statistics.

Kualoa Ranch even hosted the World Drone Racing Championship in October, which brought operators from as far away as Ukraine and the United Arab Emirates to the islands.

But as the holidays near and more of the remote-controlled aircraft land under Christmas trees, officials are reminding the public to operate them safely and responsibly — off post!

Reason is, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii prohibits the unauthorized operation of drones over its properties. Violation of this policy on remotely controlled aircraft could result in disciplinary action.

“There is a security concern associated with it, with having drones potentially flying over and filming a military installation,” said James C. Knight, chief of the Directorate of Plans, Training, Mobilization and Security’s Aviation Division. “And then there’s the potential of drones posing a hazard to some of (the Army’s) low-flying helicopters.”

He noted that there have been no indications of drones being used for spying over USAG-HI property, but added that some families living on base may be operating their drones for recreation without realizing they are in violation of Army policy.

Public Hearing for the State Water Projects Plan Focuses on Projects for DHHL

The State Commission on Water Resource Management (CWRM) will hold public hearings to receive testimony on proposed updates to the State Water Projects Plan (SWPP).  The SWPP identifies future water demands and source strategies for State water projects.  This update of the SWPP focuses on water projects for the Department of Hawaiian Homelands.

A public review draft of the State Water Projects Plan is available online at the CWRM website: http://www.hawaii.gov/dlnr/cwrm/.  The public review draft may also be reviewed at the CWRM office at the Kalanimoku Building, Room 227, 1151 Punchbowl Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813.

All public hearings will be held at 6 p.m. on the following dates, at the locations given below:

January 10, 2017 (Tue.)  Lihue Civic Center, Meeting Rooms 2A and 2B
4444 Rice Street, Lihue, Kauai, Hawaii 96766
January 11, 2017 (Wed.) Mitchell Pau’ole Community Center
90 Ainoa St., Kaunakakai, Molokai, Hawaii 96748
January 12, 2017 (Thurs.) Velma McWayne Santos Community Center
395 Waena Pl., Wailuku, Maui, Hawaii 96793
January 17, 2017 (Tue.) Waiakea High School Cafeteria
155 W. Kawili Street, Hilo, Hawaii 96720
January 18, 2017 (Wed.) Kealakehe High School Cafeteria
74-5000 Puohulihuli Street, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii 96740
January 19, 2017 (Thurs.) Kalanimoku Building, Board Room 132
1151 Punchbowl Street, Honolulu, Hawaii 96813

All interested persons are urged to attend the hearing and submit comments, orally or in writing.

Disabled individuals planning to attend the public hearing are asked to contact the CWRM (at the above address or phone 808-587-0214) at least three days in advance of the public hearing to indicate if they have special needs that require accommodation.