Hawaii’s plans to achieve 100% renewable energy dependence are one step close to fruition, with Hawaiian Electric Companies, the Hawaiian utility given the task of powering Hawaii’s island grids with green power, securing regulatory approval for its plans to achieve the goals. Although the approval comes with several caveats, the agreement represents a significant milestone in Hawaii’s journey towards becoming entirely reliant on renewable power sources by 2045.
Hawaiian Electric Companies delivered its power supply improvement plan (PSIP) to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission on Friday. The plan contains the roadmap to achieving the 100% renewable target by 2040.
What Does the Plan Entail?
Till 2021, Hawaiian Electric Companies plans to add nearly 400 megawatts of new renewable energy installations across its sites in three Hawaiian islands. This represents the largest procurement of new energy in the history of the Island nation. Nearly the same amount of new energy is also expected to be added through rooftop solar installations. Hawaiian islands have set the standard in recent years for development of renewable energy, with several types of renewable energy receiving solid support from the country’s administrations. The end of the federal Investment Tax Credit represents a symbolic deadline for the utility to achieve these targets, as the benefits afforded by the scheme are likely to end by 2021. Involving stakeholders in energy and grid development is also vital for Hawaiian Electric Companies.
The widespread adoption of community-based renewable energy programs in Hawaii is also conducive for steady development of Hawaii’s plan.
However, some parts of the Hawaiian Electric Companies plan have been criticized by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, with the lack of a concrete option in their near-term transmission plans being a major sticking point.