Hawaiian Electric hit new renewable high in 2012

(Honolulu, Hawaii) – The Hawaiian Electric Companies reached a record 13.9 percent of energy needs from renewable generation in 2012 – well on the way to passing the next clean energy goal of 15 percent in 2015. Added rooftop and utility-scale solar photovoltaic facilities on all islands, more wind energy on Oahu and Maui and increased geothermal energy production on Hawaii Island all contributed to this progress.

The 13.9 percent achievement was an improvement over the 12 percent reported for 2011. The information is contained in the Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light companies annual Renewable Portfolio Standard Report filed with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission recently.

“Our communities’ strong progress in renewable energy is the result of the collective efforts of customers, energy suppliers and our companies,” said Scott Seu, vice president for energy resources and operations. “Increasing renewable energy helps our utilities meet our clean energy commitments and renewable energy legal mandates.

“Most importantly, we need to keep pressing for more renewable energy to stabilize and lower customer bills, enhance the security of our way of life in Hawaii and protect the environment of our islands and the world.”

Until 2015, the official renewable portfolio standard includes renewable energy and energy savings from efficiency and solar water-heating technologies. When these are included, the 2012 total reached 28.7 percent, up from 24.5 percent in 2011.

A separate public benefits fee administrator reporting directly to the Public Utilities Commission now administers energy conservation and efficiency programs. The Hawaiian Electric Companies collect the public benefits fee through customer bills and pass funds to the public benefits fee administrator, known as Hawaii Energy.