Hawaii Energy Resource Guide 2014
(page 2 of 4)
Hawaiian Electric Companies
The Hawaiian Electric Companies have been serving Hawaii, providing for its energy needs, for more than 120 years.
King David Kalakaua originally charted Hawaiian Electric, pioneering the use of electricity within the islands and recognizing the potential for electric power to transform Hawaii.
“We’re proud of our history of service to our communities, but we know it’s not enough for us just to look back. Today, we’re rising to meet new challenges. We’re doing everything we can to lower our customers’ electric bills since we know the cost of energy impacts everyone in our community,” said Scott Seu, Hawaiian Electric vice president of energy resources and operations. “To help stabilize and lower electricity costs, we’re aggressively expanding our use of clean energy.”
An estimated 18 percent of the electricity used by the Hawaiian Electric Companies’ customers comes from renewable resources, already surpassing Hawai‘i’s goal of 15 percent by 2015.
“In the first nine months of 2013, our use of clean energy saved customers $276 million and reduced our oil consumption by 2.2 million barrels,” says Seu. “We’re seeking more low-cost clean energy which includes solar, wind, biofuel, and geothermal projects.”
The Hawaiian Electric Companies are also taking a number of other actions to reduce expenses and increase clean energy. For example, they’re deactivating their older, less efficient oil-fired generating units—about 14 percent of the companies’ power generation— so they can increase the use of renewable energy generation and use less oil. That, in turn, lowers cost.
Hawai’i’s utilities also lead the nation in the amount of photovoltaic solar per customer. On O’ahu, almost 10 percent of Hawaiian Electric’s customers have rooftop photovoltaic systems, compared to three to five percent for large mainland utilities.
“Solar will continue to be an important part of the portfolio of resources we need to meet customer needs and statewide energy goals,” Seu says. “We are continuing to help our customers install solar electric systems while still ensuring safety and reliability for our customers and our crews.”
Such goals take a big investment in utility infrastructure and in better information systems. To that end, as of September, Hawaiian Electric has already invested $235 million in capital improvements during 2013.
The utilities are also working with the state and other stakeholders to pursue the use of liquefied natural gas as a cleaner and lower cost option to replace generation that would have otherwise been fueled with expensive imported petroleum oil.
“Hawaii has been our home for more than 120 years,” says Seu. “Although much has changed during that time, one thing hasn’t – and that’s our commitment to our community and our customers.”
900 Richards Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
Risōurce Energy’s President, Darren Furumoto, has spent years immersing himself in the PhotoVoltaic industry. He is NABCEP certified, the most rigorous certification in the country. While searching for the ideal PV for Hawaii, Darren insisted that it be cost efficient, able to “harvest energy” under real world conditions, be of uncompromising quality, easy to service and environmentally safe.
The panel Darren chose is CIS (copper, indium and selenium), made in Japan by Solar Frontier, the world’s largest thin-film CIS manufacturer. Unlike crystalline panels, CIS is designed to work under less than ideal conditions. It’s relatively easy to harvest energy under direct sun. CIS is just as effective in areas of low light and shade.
Recently, Solar Frontier was selected by Japanese housing giant Sekisui Heim to provide 10kw of CIS panels for each of its Smart Power Station homes. These homes are built to Zero Energy Housing standards to consume net-zero energy from the grid.
Sekisui Heim has built and sold over 100,000 PV installed homes. If CIS technology is suitable for their smart power homes, it could be a smart choice for Hawaii too.
Risōurce Energy is committed to building relationships with customers that last for generations. Check out their testimonials at www.risourceenergy.com/testimonials.
1111 Dillingham Blvd,
Honolulu, Hawaii 96817
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