In 2016, 26 percent of electricity used by Hawaiian Electric Companies came from renewables

Release Date: 3/8/2017

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Honolulu, March 8, 2017 - The Hawaiian Electric Companies reached a nearly 26 percent Renewable Portfolio Standard in 2016, up from 23 percent the year before. The companies' renewable portfolio across the five islands served is comprised of customer-sited generation - mainly private, rooftop solar systems - and grid-scale technologies including wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, biofuels and hydroelectricity. The numbers were submitted to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission in the companies' annual RPS report. 

Hawaii Island customers’ use of renewable electricity passed the halfway mark for the first time in 2016, with 54 percent of electricity coming from renewables, up from 49 percent in 2015. Maui County also reached a new high of 37 percent, up from 35 percent. On Oahu, 19 percent of electricity used by customers came from renewable resources, up from 17 percent the year before.

"For customers, the increased use of renewable energy is not only helping stabilize bills but is reducing our state's dependency on imported oil and cutting emissions that contribute to climate change," said Alan Oshima, Hawaiian Electric president and CEO. 

Due to expanded use of renewable resources, the Hawaiian Electric Companies used 300,000 fewer barrels of oil in 2016 than in 2015.

Numbers reported to the Public Utilities Commission are annual totals and averages. At times, when conditions are favorable, renewable energy has powered up to 45 percent of Oahu electricity needs and up to 60 percent on Maui and Hawaii islands. 

Total electrical energy generated using renewable energy sources rose by 62,620 megawatt-hours in 2016, a 4.4 percent increase compared to the previous year. Total energy from customer-sited private generation attached to the grid rose by 139,934 megawatt-hours in 2016, a 21.8 percent increase over the previous year.

RPS as of December 31:

2016 2015 
Three companies 25.8% 23.2%
Hawaiian Electric 19.4% 17.2%
Maui Electric 36.9% 35.4%
Hawaii Electric Light 54.2% 48.7%