Renewable Energy Continues Growth Across the Islands
In 2020, something interesting happened in Hawai‘i’s energy scene: more than 30% of all power generation came from renewable sources, surpassing the Renewable Portfolio Standards benchmark set by state law for the year.
For its part, the Hawaiian Electric Company's utilities achieved 35% of generation from renewables, while Kauai’s independent co-op utility ran at more than 60% renewables.
HECO has about $4 billion invested in 16 renewable projects in the years ahead, promising to raise that percentage.
Individual consumers have been making investments, too, and our energy panelists noted that the solar systems they’re buying are different now.
So far in 2021, about 83% of residential PV systems purchased on Oahu included battery storage, an all-time high.
Josh Powell, CEO of RevoluSun noted, “All these batteries are integrated in a way they can be utilized on the grid and for resilience.”
In fact, the electrical utilities and some of their customers are about to start a new kind of relationship.
About 6,000 residential PV users have signed up with California-based Swell Energy to create a “virtual power plant,” making their batteries available on HECO’s Oahu grid as a resource the utility can tap into as needed.