Powering Our Communities
In 2001, the State of Hawaii passed a law along net energy metering which provides savings to customers who generate their own power from renewable resources and connect to Hawaii Electric Light's grid.
In 2003, as part of the Million Solar Roofs Initiative (MSRI), a partnership including Hawaii Electric Light, the County of Hawaii and the U.S. Department of Energy has helped enhance the Hilo bay front with a multi-purpose, solar-powered kiosk and solar electric lighting for the facilities.
In 2005, electricity demand on the Island of Hawaii grew faster than anywhere in the state, especially in West Hawaii where electricity use increased five percent during each of the last three years. The expansion of Keahole Power Plant provides assurance of improved electric service for the island and for West Hawaii homes and businesses in particular.
Located near the Kona airport, Keahole Power Plant now generates up to 75 percent of the electricity needed by West Hawaii and 35 percent of the electricity used by the entire island. Two new combustion turbines, which use similar technology as jet engines, were blessed and dedicated to service in June 2005. A steam generator will be built in the future that will increase plant efficiency by capturing the waste heat from the two turbines to produce more electricity, without using more fuel. The June dedication ceremony focused on more than the modern power plant. It also reflected the community's contribution to the planning process.