In its renewable portfolio standard (RPS) report filed with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC), Hawaiian Electric Co. Inc. is reporting record-high renewable energy use for the state in 2015.
The consolidated RPS for Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light combined was 23.2%, an increase from 21.3% for 2014.
According to Hawaiian Electric, the achievement, which far exceeded Hawaii’s 2015 RPS goal of 15%, came from a diverse mix of renewable sources, including wind power, waste-to-energy, biomass, geothermal, hydro, biofuels and solar (both utility-scale and customer-sited rooftop systems).
Hawaii Island, which reported that 48.7% of customer electricity use came from renewable resources, led the state. Maui County, including Molokai and Lanai, recorded 35.4%, and Oahu achieved 17.2%.
The RPS reported to the PUC represents the calculation for the entire year. However, for monthly records, Hawaii Island hit a renewable high of 68% in December, Maui County hit 63% in April and Oahu reached 42% in May.
The utility says electricity generated using renewable energy sources increased by 39,153 MWh in 2015. The total amount of electrical energy generated from customer-sited, grid-connected sources increased by an estimated 128,060 MWh, a 24.9% jump from the previous year.
The Hawaiian Electric companies are preparing updated power supply improvement plans for achieving the state’s future RPS goals of 30% by 2020, 40% by 2030, 70% by 2040 and 100% by 2045.
“A balanced portfolio of renewable resources is critical to our successful transition from imported oil,” says Alan Oshima, Hawaiian Electric’s president and CEO. “Energy conservation and storage, rooftop and grid solar, wind power, geothermal, and demand response programs will all continue to help us reach that goal while providing value to our customers.”