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Friday, August 12, 2022
Rolling Blackouts Coming in September: Hawaii ends use of coal for power generation
By News Release @ 3:09 AM :: 1678 Views :: Energy, Environment, Cost of Living

ROLLING BLACKOUT ​REALITY: 

2015: Biofuel Shell Game: How Giant Diesel Plant Became part of Hawaii's 'Clean' Energy Future

2018: Oahu: Lack of Wind Threatens Rolling Blackouts

2019: HECO Rolling Blackouts Possible Due to Failure of Wind, Solar

2020: Hawaii's Fake Green Energy Initiative: After 15 years, Petroleum Dependence Drops only 6%

2021: Hawaii Is Replacing Its Last Coal Plant With a ‘Giant Battery’—Powered by Oil

2021: Wood Pellets? Hawaii 'Green' Energy Scam is Dirtier Than Coal

2021: HECO ‘Green Energy’ Plan-- Crank up every diesel plant on this island: ‘We’re still not clear how we’re going to get through next Fall’

June 24, 2022: Rolling Blackouts Begin Sept 1: Power cost hike, supply crunch ahead as last Hawaii coal plant closes

July 19, 2022: Rolling Blackouts Coming: Three More Solar Plus Storage Projects Are Dead After $140M Ratepayer Shakedown Fails

July 28, 2022: Rolling Blackouts Coming in September: Hawaiʻi’s only coal-fired power plant receives final shipment of coal

Aug 1, 2022: Rolling Blackouts: What Happens When The Last Coal Ship Leaves Hawaii?

Aug 3, 2022: Rolling Blackouts Coming in September: Insiders Still Claim Power expected to be reliable (but pricey) after coal-plant shutdown

Aug 9, 2022: Rolling Blackouts: Wakai says, ‘I told you so’

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Hawaii ends use of coal for power generation as 30-year contract with Oahu plant winds down

7% bill increase forecasted; clean energy projects set to arrive now through 2024 will help stabilize rates

News Release from HECO

HONOLULU, Aug. 7, 2022 - The power purchase contract between Hawaiian Electric and AES Corporation, which has operated the coal-fired power plant at Campbell Industrial Park since 1992, will end at midnight on Sept. 1. The facility is the last in Hawaii to use coal to make electricity.

Using a combination of renewable resources and existing power plants, Hawaiian Electric will continue to have sufficient generation capacity and reserve margin to meet the needs of Oahu’s 310,000 customers.

By discontinuing the use of coal, Hawaiian Electric is forecasting that residential bills for typical Oahu customers will rise 7% or about $15, which will start showing up for most customers in bills they receive in October.

The 180-megawatt AES facility is one of the state’s largest emitters of greenhouse gases, releasing 1.5 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent annually. There were no plans by AES and Hawaiian Electric to extend the use of the coal plant after the expiration of the 30-year contract and under Act 23 of 2020, Hawaii banned any extension of the coal plant contract and any future use of coal for power generation.

Until oil prices surged earlier this year, the projected cost of discontinuing the use of coal as a fuel for power generation was relatively modest, about $2 more per month for typical customers. The Russian invasion of Ukraine changed that, driving oil prices up to historic levels.

“This is a critical turning point in the long-term transition of Hawaii’s energy landscape. Unfortunately, the timing has converged with global events that are currently increasing the cost of electricity,” said Shelee Kimura, president and CEO of Hawaiian Electric.

“We know that paying more for an essential service like electricity will impact many households and businesses particularly at a time when other costs are rising. We wanted to let customers know the situation in advance so they can plan and we can help them with options. We’re also seeing some encouraging signs that oil prices are declining and we’re hopeful this will help lower rates in the coming months.”

Nine renewable energy projects are scheduled to come online on Oahu through 2024. Supply chain and other issues have delayed the in-service dates for a number of them, but many are expected to be online by the first half of 2023, including the Kapolei Energy Storage project, one of the largest battery energy storage projects in the world. Project updates are available on Hawaiian Electric’s Renewable Project Status Board at hawaiianelectric.com/statusboard.

Clearway Energy Group’s Mililani I Solar project will be officially dedicated on Aug. 11. It generates 39 megawatts and includes a 156 megawatt-hour battery at a cost of 9 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Renewable energy projects like these provide long-term price stability because they’re locked in at a contracted price, typically ranging from 9 to 13 cents per kilowatt-hour for solar and storage on Oahu.

Conserving electricity is a practical way for customers to manage their energy bills and nearly every household can save by changing habits and limiting the use of appliances that use the most electricity, especially air conditioners. Links to resources are available at hawaiianelectric.com.

Hawaii Energy is an expert resource that offers rebates and energy-saving tips at hawaiienergy.com. Some actions to take now:

  • Reduce the use of anything that generates heat – water heater, oven, clothes dryer, stove. Consider a solar water heater or heat pump water heater, available with rebates between $500 and $1,000 from Hawaii Energy – it could cut your bill by up to 40%.
  • Turn off air conditioning or set it at 78 degrees. Even turning it off for an hour helps.
  • Use smart plugs or unplug electronics when not in use, including computers, printers, cable boxes, game devices, chargers.
  • Consider rooftop solar. In addition to tax incentives, Hawaiian Electric is offering cash incentives through its Battery Bonus program to customers who install battery storage.

If you’re having trouble paying your bill, go to hawaiianelectric.com/paymentarrangement to review payment plan options. For information on available financial assistance, go to hawaiianelectric.com/COVID19.

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Mililani I Solar now sending clean energy to Oahu grid

Eight more renewable projects coming online on Oahu by end of 2024

News Release from HECO

HONOLULU, Aug. 11, 2022 - Mililani I Solar – the first of nine clean energy projects slated to come online on Oahu through 2024 – is now feeding lower-cost renewable energy to Hawaiian Electric’s grid. Over time, these projects will help stabilize the cost of energy for customers.

Clearway Energy Group officially dedicated Mililani I Solar, the first utility-scale solar-plus-storage project in operation on Oahu. The project generates 39 megawatts and includes a 156 megawatt-hour battery at a cost of 9 cents per kilowatt-hour. It offers the lowest price per kilowatt-hour among Oahu renewable energy projects currently under development or awaiting regulatory approval. The energy it generates and sends to the grid benefits all Hawaiian Electric customers on Oahu.

Although the addition of Mililani I Solar will only push rates down a small amount, eight other clean energy projects are coming in 2023 and 2024, most generating electricity at one-third the cost of oil. As more come online, these projects will insulate Hawaii from the oil price spikes driven by international events.

Among the projects is Clearway Energy’s Waiawa Solar Power, which will generate 36 MW and is paired with a 144 MWh battery. It is expected to come online in early 2023 at 10 cents per kilowatt-hour. In 2019, Clearway brought online three grid-scale solar projects on Oahu.

These renewable energy resources provide long-term price stability because they’re locked in at a contracted price, typically from 9 to 13 cents per kilowatt-hour for solar and storage on Oahu. View Hawaiian Electric's renewable energy project status board for a list of future projects.

Last year, about a third of Oahu’s energy sales came from renewable resources. Transitioning to clean energy will help Hawaiian Electric meet its commitment to reduce carbon emissions from power generation by as much as 70% by 2030 compared to 2005 levels. The company’s Climate Change Action Plan also commits to net zero emissions by 2045.

In 2018, Hawaiian Electric began the first phase of Hawaii’s largest procurement for renewable energy resources to meet the state’s 100% renewable portfolio standard requirement. The second phase of procurement started in 2019 and was among the largest single renewable energy procurements undertaken by a U.S. utility. From them, nearly 240 MW of variable renewable energy and roughly 1 gigawatt hours per year of energy storage are being developed on Oahu. 

SA: Hawaii’s first major solar farm with batteries is currently producing electricity on Oahu

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