Update: There are a couple of good comments below that add useful context to the O’ahu findings. Since it is a rather critical point, here’s one of them, from Bob Wallace:
Wind and solar could provide 100% of O’ahu’s projected electricity demand if they included some storage and demand response.
The 25% cited in this article is similar to what was found for the Western mainland grid. The Western grid could accept up to 30% wind (25%) and solar (5%) without adding storage. It’s what the grids can accept in their current configuration.
500 MW of wind power and 100 MW of solar power could supply more than 25% of O’ahu’s projected electricity demand, a new study, the Oʻahu Wind Integration Study (OWIS), conducted by Hawaiʻi Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, General Electric (GE) Company, and the Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) shows.
“The findings of this study show it is feasible to integrate large-scale wind and solar projects on Oʻahu but also have value beyond Hawaiʻi. Both large mainland utilities and relatively small and/or isolated grids that wish to integrate significant amounts of renewable energy while maintaining reliability for their customers can learn from this study,” said Hawaiʻi Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) director Dr. Rick Rocheleau.
The study found that the combined 600 MW of renewable energy could eliminate the need for approximately 2.8 million barrels of low sulphur fuel oil and 132,000 tonnes of coal each year, while still maintaining a reliable system, if certain recommendations are incorporated.
Photo via JPhilipson