Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Hawaiian Electric Renewable Energy Use Increased Last Year

Hawaiian Electric's use of renewable energy in 2019 increased over 2018 despite the unavailability of geothermal energy production on the Big Island and significantly lower wind energy production, the company said.

Hawaiian Electric said energy generated by renewable resources increased by 156,064 megawatt-hours in 2019, a 6.7% increase from the previous year, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Thursday.

The company achieved a 28.4% consolidated renewable portfolio standard in 2019, surpassing 27% in 2018.

The state set a goal for 2045 of a 100% renewable portfolio standard, which is based on the amount of renewable energy used by customers as a percentage of total utility sales.

Hawaii must reach 30% by the end of 2020, 40% by the end of 2030, and 70% by the end of 2040 to stay on track, the company said.

Senior Vice President Jim Alberts said in a statement that Hawaiian Electric is expected to meet a 30% renewable portfolio standard by the end of 2020.

“We gained some strong momentum going into the end of 2019 with the surge of grid and rooftop solar and we fully expect Puna Geothermal Venture to be back online before long, so that would push us past 30%.”

Puna Geothermal Venture is attempting to resume normal operations after wells were isolated or covered by lava in the Kilauea volcano eruption that began in May 2018.

An increase in rooftop solar photovoltaic systems and grid-scale solar projects helped Hawaiian Electric increase its renewable energy percentage.

Oahu increased to a 25% renewable portfolio standard from 22% the previous year. Maui County achieved 41% with its mix of solar, wind and biofuels, up from 38% in 2018.

The Associated Press is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering, supplying a steady stream of news to its members, international subscribers and commercial customers. Founded in 1846, AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, it's a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members.
More from Hawai‘i Public Radio