The Electricity working group is dedicated to increasing the use of renewable electricity technologies in Hawai'i and facilitating the distribution of electricity across our islands.

  • 1. Goal
  • 2. Representative Accomplishments
  • 3. Challenges
  • 4. Electricity Group Meetings
  • 5. Contacts



Hawai'i Clean Energy Initiative's goal, and the statutory goal of Hawaii's Renewable Portfolio Standard, is to generate 40% of Hawaii's energy from renewable resources by 2030. In order to increase the use of renewable electricity throughout Hawai'i, the working group is focusing on increasing renewable generation, upgrading grid infrastructure, securing investment, and promoting public acceptance.




HCEI's accomplishments in electricity generation and delivery include:

  • By statute, the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard for renewable electricity was set to 15% by 2015, 25% by 2020, and 40% by 2030
  • A feed-in tariff applicable to HECO and its subsidiaries was established for several renewable technologies
  • The State of Hawai'i and HECO signed a cooperative agreement to increase renewable electricity generation
  • A coordinated permitting program was established at DBEDT, and permitting guidebooks developed for renewable technologies
  • A 1.2-MW photovoltaic plant, the state's largest, was built on Lana'i
  • Hawai'i experienced the fastest growth in photovoltaic installation in the nation
  • 30 MW of wind power was installed at Kahuku
  • Wind Power Grid Integration studies were completed for all islands
  • A technical review of the interisland cable was completed
  • Smart Grid demonstrations on O'ahu, Maui and Kaua'i were initiated
  • Solar resource potential and grid impact studies began




Hawai'i has a wealth of renewable resources; by some estimates, we could generate 150% of our electricity from indigenous renewable resources. However, increased reliance on renewable electricity generation is constrained by a number of factors, including:

  • Variability of and lack of ability to dispatch some renewable resources
  • Lack of demand for electricity in off-peak hours
  • Potential need for dozens of permits at the federal, state, and county levels for each project
  • Lack of data about the resources themselves, as well as generation characteristics, grid impacts, environmental impacts, and costs
  • Inadequate grid infrastructure on each island
  • Isolation of the islands' individual electric grids
  • Lack of public information about—and thus understanding of—energy systems
  • Challenge of obtaining financing for energy projects
  • Need for a workforce trained in renewable energy technologies
  • Pre-commercial nature of some renewable technologies
  • Lengthy utility procurement process.



December 7, 2012
Hawaii Clean Energy Programmatic EIS (PEIS), Jim Spaeth
Kauai Smart Grid Initiative, Michael Yamane
Plug-in Electric Vehicles and Smart Grids, Mike Kuss and Tony Markel
Strategic Development in the Smart Grid, Dave Corbus
The Impact of Smart Grid Projects Funded by the Recovery Act of 2009, Joe Paladino
Smart Energy Solutions, Marc Matsuura


November 28, 2011



UH-HNEI PV and Energy Storage Programs

Lanai Battery Project - Background and Lessons Learned

Additional material:

Hawaii Grid Storage Research Project Summary

Hawaii Packs Punch with Battery Storage

US Utility-Scale Battery Storage Market Surges Foward

Initial Operating Experience of the La Ola 1.2-MW Photovoltaic System

Sempra Auwahi Wind & Energy Storage


May 4, 2011

Agenda »
Renewable Project Permitting in Hawaii, Cameron Black, DBEDT »
NREL's Electric Vehicle Grid Integration Impacts Study, Tony Markel, NREL »
Program Updates: Wind and Solar, Jay Griffin, HNEI »
Program Updates: Wind and Solar, Dora Nakafuji, HECO »
Program Updates: Wind and Solar, Dave Corbus, NREL »



Electricity Working Group member list






Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative