Thursday, April 14, 2016

USA, Hawaii: Geothermal Energy is Part of Islands' Power Supply Improvement Plan

Inside Hawaiian Electric's new plan to get to 100% renewables (Utility Dive)

After failing to satisfy regulators twice in the last few years, the Hawaiian Electric Companies (HECO) filed their third attempt at a power supply plan at the beginning of this month.

In a nutshell, HECO's Power Supply Improvement Plan (PSIP), filed April 1, is a roadmap detailing how the utility will comply with Hawaii's historic Act 97, which mandated last year that the state shift to 100% renewable electricity generation by 2045.

In an interview with Utility Dive, Colton Ching, HECO's vice president for energy delivery, said the new plan will help his utility end its current reliance on fossil fuels (especially fuel oil) for electricity generation.

“Act 97 is a dramatic statement of our state’s energy policy and goal and it was among the main things we had to work on in this report,” Ching said. “We had to extend it out to 2045 and design a portfolio for our system that will achieve the 100% renewable portfolio standard.”

The two-volume, 1,200-plus page filing (docket 2014-0183) provides details of the power supply mix on each of the state’s islands. Overall, its preferred plan calls for Hawaii’s 2045 electricity generation mix to be composed of 16.1% distributed solar, 10.2% utility-scale solar, 33.4% onshore and offshore wind energy, 26.9% biofuels, 6.5% geothermal energy, 6.5% waste and biomass, and 0.4% hydropower.

The PSIP will balance variable resources with firm, dispatchable geothermal and biomass resources on Maui and Hawaii Island, Ching said.

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