The Potential of Enhancing Grid Reliability with Hawaiian Electric's Renewable Energy Program

Hawaiian Electric is leading the way in the evolution of energy systems with its ambitious goal of reaching 100% renewable energy by 2045. Learn how they are increasing grid reliability with their renewable energy program.

The Potential of Enhancing Grid Reliability with Hawaiian Electric's Renewable Energy Program

Ten years ago, Hawaiian Electric and other stakeholders joined forces to exceed the initial interim objectives set by the state, and now they are aiming even higher. The goal is to become the first COS regulation in the United States that safeguards Hawaiian Electric and encourages it to act as if it were in a competitive environment. Hawaiian Electric, which operates on Oahu, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light on Hawaii's Big Island, partnered with NREL to explore this uncharted territory. Hawaii is leading the way in the evolution of energy systems, with the highest levels of renewable energy, the highest percentage of citizens with solar energy on their roofs, and the country's most ambitious electricity goal: 100% renewable by 2045. However, Hawaiian Electric's underperforming rating was kept due to upward risks such as opportunities to expand ROE. The increase in operational flexibility will support the integration of additional renewable resources and address the changing energy demand profile created by the growth of distributed resources. A Hawaiian Electric operator installs a device to minimize voltage fluctuations in a local circuit with a high level of distributed solar generation. The Department of Energy (DOE) Undersecretary of Electricity Supply and Energy Reliability, Kevin Kolevar, announced today the selection of a project in Hawaii as part of a national demonstration to modernize the country's electrical grid system.

Hawaiian Electric intends to use energy storage as part of a portfolio of resources and methods to help maintain grid reliability and securely integrate cost-effective renewable energy into power grids. High energy costs put Hawaii in a unique position to benefit from the transition to renewable generation. The DOE aims for 70 percent of Hawaii's energy to come from clean, renewable sources by 2030. This led Hawaiian Electric to announce a new goal of reaching 100% by 2040, five years ahead of the deadline set by the state. Successful implementation of this plan will depend on Hawaiian Electric's ability to take immediate action, and will require improved energy policies, coordination of regulatory processes, and strong community participation.

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