Beautiful beaches. Gorgeous sunsets. Tropical bliss.
Now, we can add ‘Renewable Leader’ to the accolades racked up by the state of Hawaii. The state’s largest electric service provider, Hawaii Electric Companies (HECO) has been given the green light by the state of Hawaii to execute their plan to move Hawaii’s infrastructure to a place of true energy independence – 100% renewable energy by the year 2040. This plan is a full five years ahead of the state-mandated target year of 2045.
This is a particularly notable achievement by HECO, as their prior two attempts at a development proposal were quashed by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC). The plan is very aggressive, and calls for large additions to solar and wind energy capacity in the coming five years. From 2017 to 2021, HECO expects to add 360 megawatts of grid-scale, solar PV production and 157 megawatts of grid-scale wind energy production. These are big numbers and lofty goals indeed; the state’s history of adopting renewable energy technology only makes this advancement a perfect fit for the Aloha State and they believe they are up to the task.
What makes Hawaii a perfect place for solar innovation is the fact that it is a completely isolated archipelago, located more than 2,200 miles from the nearest land mass (Alaska/California). Hawaiians have always had to manage logistics carefully with regards to interstate and international trade, and space on the island is at a tremendous premium. This means that self-reliance on energy production has to happen, or else the Hawaiian islands simply won’t be able to support themselves as their energy demands continue to grow.
Even though we enjoy access to neighboring states and a general sense of geographical continuity here in the ‘lower 48’, we still have a lot of work to do to follow Hawaii’s lead. Urban Solar is doing our part by educating customers, providing real-world installation and design expertise and providing excellent customer service the entire way. Contact us today to learn about how easy and quick our energy assessment is (and, the best part is that it’s free!).