East Hawaii News

2015 Big Island Electricity Reach Near 49 Percent Renewable Mark

March 4, 2016, 10:33 AM HST
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Hawai'i Electric Light's Hilo office on Kilauea Avenue. File photo by Dave Smith.

Hawai’i Electric Light’s Hilo office on Kilauea Avenue. File photo by Dave Smith.

In 2015, the Big Island led the state in renewable energy use, according to Hawaiian Electric Light.

The Big Island used 48.7 percent of energy from renewable sources, with Maui County falling into second with 35.4 percent and Oahu at 17.2 percent.

Hawaiian Electric Companies reported the data in its annual Renewable Portfolio Standard report filed with the Hawai’i Public Utilities Commission.

“These are achievements that everyone in Hawai‘i can be proud of,” said Alan Oshima, Hawaiian Electric president and Chief Executive Officer. “Integrating renewable energy resources for the benefit of all customers is a top priority and these results highlight Hawaii’s nation-leading commitment.

Combined, Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric, and Hawai’i Electric Light had a consolidated RPS of 23.2 percent last year. This number is an increase from 21.3 percent in 2014.

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In 2015, the state’s RPS goal was 15 percent and came from the use of a diverse mix of renewable sources, which included waste-to-energy, biomass, geothermal, hydro, wind, biofuels, and solar.

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The RPS is an annual report covering the entire year. On the Big Island, however, the renewable high of 68 percent was met in Dec. 2015.

“A balanced portfolio of renewable resources is critical to our successful transition from imported oil.  Energy conservation and storage, rooftop and grid solar, wind power, geothermal and demand response programs will all continue to help us reach that goal while providing value to our customers,” Oshima said.

Renewable energy sources generated an increase of 39,153 mega-watt-hours of electricity last year. The total amount of electrical energy generated from customer-sited, grid-connected sources increased by an estimated 128,060 megawatt-hours, a 24.9 percent increase compared to the previous year.

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