The Hawaiian Electric companies that power Oahu, Maui County and the Big Island have submitted a plan to state energy regulators that lays out how they will achieve 100 percent of their electricity generation from renewable sources by 2040 — five years sooner than the state-mandated goal.
The plan also says the companies are setting aside their pursuit of using liquefied natural gas instead of oil as a bridging fuel, instead focusing on a change straight to renewables.
Gov. David Ige has adamantly opposed using LNG for electricity generation, saying the investments to upgrade the oil-burning power plants and other infrastructure costs would be better put toward renewable projects.
Hawaiian Electric stated in its executive summary that it will continue to evaluate LNG as one alternative in the transition to 100 percent renewable energy. The company has also tabled an interisland cable to transmit power, saying it needs to be studied further.
The state Public Utilities Commission has repeatedly told the electric companies that their power supply improvement plans fall short of its expectations and demanded they resubmit them.
PUC Chair Randy Iwase has highlighted shortcomings in the past that include modeling methods, assumptions and constraints, insufficient analytical support and assumptions that need to be updated to reflect changes in laws and other circumstances.
“We have a solid plan that accelerates our progress to get to 100 percent renewable energy. We can do this,” said Alan Oshima, Hawaiian Electric president and CEO, in a news release issued Friday afternoon. “We want to work with parties from all segments of our community — government, business, community and environmental groups – to refine the plans for Hawaii’s energy future.”
The release does not mention NextEra Energy, the Florida-based company whose $4.3 billion deal to buy Hawaiian Electric was rejected earlier this year by the PUC. NextEra and Hawaiian Electric officials had said the acquisition would accelerate the companies’ pursuit of 100 percent renewable electricity generation.
Read the executive summary of Hawaiian Electric’s updated Power Supply Improvement Plan below. The full plan is available here.
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