Hawaiian Electric achieved a 28.4 percent consolidated renewable portfolio standard in 2019, despite having significantly lower wind energy production and not having Hawaii Island’s geothermal resource available.
Even without geothermal, Hawaiian Electric moved ahead in the effort to reach 100 percent renewable energy by the year 2045, surpassing the previous year’s 27 percent renewable portfolio standard (RPS).
If Puna Geothermal Venture had not been affected by the 2018 Kilauea eruption and operated normally throughout 2019, it would have added an estimated 3.7 percentage points to Hawaiian Electric’s consolidated RPS. That RPS percentage would have exceeded the state mandate of 30 percent RPS by the end of 2020, which Hawaiian Electric will reach this year.
Another limiting factor was the 13 percent drop in wind energy production last year – 527,887 megawatt-hours, down from 602,007 in 2018. And last year’s record high temperatures drove up electricity demand, essentially reducing the RPS. The RPS represents the renewable energy used by customers as a percentage of total utility sales.
Maui County, with the mix of solar, wind and biofuels, achieved 41 percent RPS, up from 38 percent in 2018. Oahu jumped to 25 percent, up from 22 percent the previous year. Hawaii Island recorded 35 percent, down from 44 percent (PGV went offline in May 2018). Had PGV been online at normal operation in 2019, Hawaii Island would have achieved an estimated RPS of 65 percent.
Hawaiian Electric continued its renewable energy push in 2019. Three Clearway Energy solar facilities, two in Central Oahu and one on the North Shore, totaling 110 megawatts (MW) went into commercial operation in September and November respectively. Hawaiian Electric’s 20-MW West Loch Solar Project in Ewa came online in November.
Electrical energy generated using renewable energy resources, including customer-sited, grid-connected technologies, increased by 156,064 megawatt-hours in 2019, a 6.7 percent increase compared to the previous year.