Clean Power kilauea

Published on January 5th, 2012 | by Andrew

15

Hawaii Inches Toward 100% Renewable Energy; Geothermal Resources 2.5 to 7 Times Demand

January 5th, 2012 by  

Located as it is about 2,400 miles (3,900 km) WSW of San Francisco about in the middle of the northern Pacific, residents and businesses on the ‘Big Island’ of Hawai’i pay a lot for energy. Imported oil has been the primary fuel, not only for transportation, but for generating electricity in the Hawaiian Islands.

The situation could be radically different, however. The Hawaiian islands are rich in wind, solar, and, as you’d expect given the fact that they sit atop a volcanically active rift in the earth’s oceanic crust, geothermal energy.

“All that is needed is cooperation and initiative to make the move to 100% renewable energy, agreed all the speakers” at a government-sponsored conference in Hilo at which the Hawai’i County Geothermal Working Group released the results of its effort to map the island’s geothermal resources with the aim of identifying those suitable for exploiting to provide clean, reliable baseload electricity, according to a press release from Mayor Billy Kenoi’s office.

Enough Geothermal Energy to Power Hawai’i 3-7x Over

“Hawai‘i County should aim and commit to being 100 percent renewable,” Mayor Kenoi said. “Federal, state, county, community, we’re all in this together. We all recognize our commitment to our children and future generations and the quality of life on Hawai‘i Island.”

Demand for power on Hawai’i Island ranges between 90 megawatts (MW) and 185 MW. In its report, the Geothermal Working Group estimates Hawai’i Island’s geothermal resources have the capacity to produce between 500 MW and 700 MW of electrical power.

“On this island we spend over a billion dollars every year to import oil for our energy needs here on the island,” said Wallace Ishibashi, co-chair of the Geothermal Working Group. “That money can stay right here to build a better community.”

Residential Utility Customers’ Bills Reduced Following Puna Geothermal Expansion

The one geothermal power plant up and running on Hawai’i — the 30-MW capacity Puna geothermal plant in the island’s East Rift Zone — has been producing between 25 and 30 MW of nearly-zero-emissions baseload electricity for Hawaii Electric Light Company (HELCO) since 1993.

On December 30, 2011, the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission approved a renegotiated power purchasing agreement (PPA) between Puna Geothermal Ventures and HELCO that reduces the rates paid by HELCO for an additional 8 MW of geothermal power being readied to come on-line this month, according to a Pacific Business News report.

Residential customers’ monthly electric utility bills will be reduced by about 70 cents as a result of the new PPA agreed to by Helco, Puna Geothermal Ventures — a subsidiary of Nevada’s Ormat Technologies — and now approved by the Hawaii PUC. HELCO and its customers will pay reduced rates for electricity production between 25 and 38 MW, while continuing to pay the same “avoided cost” rate for the first 25 MW. 
 
Get CleanTechnica’s 1st (completely free) electric car report → “Electric Cars: What Early Adopters & First Followers Want.”
 
Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech newsletter, or keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting our (also free) solar energy newsletter, electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy newsletter.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,


About the Author

I've been reporting and writing on a wide range of topics at the nexus of economics, technology, ecology/environment and society for some five years now. Whether in Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Americas, Africa or the Middle East, issues related to these broad topical areas pose tremendous opportunities, as well as challenges, and define the quality of our lives, as well as our relationship to the natural environment.



Back to Top ↑
  • Advertisements

  • Top Posts & Pages

  • Cool Cleantech Events

    Low Voltage Electrification Event, April 25-27. Detroit, Michigan (US)
    Delve deep into the benefits and challenges associated with EV power supply.

    Offshore Wind Market Development USA, May 11-12, Boston, Massachusetts (US)
    Network and establish your business in one of North America’s largest energy industries.

    Energy Storage USA, June 15-16, San Diego, California (US)
    Only event in the United States focused exclusively on the commercialization of storage.

    More details are on: Cleantech Events.

  • Advertisement

  • CleanTechnica Electric Car Report

    Electric Cars Early Adopters First Followers
  • Tesla Model 3 Review by EVANNEX

    Tesla Model 3 Review from EVANNEX
  • Tesla Model 3 Exclusive Video

    Tesla Model 3 Video
  • Tesla Model 3 Exclusive Pictures

    Tesla Model 3 Video
  • Tesla Model X Review #1 (Video)

    Tesla Model X Review from new owners Zach Shahan
  • Tesla Model X Review #2 (Pictures)

    Tesla Model X Review from Kyle Field
  • Tesla Model S Long-Term Review

    Tesla Model S Long Term Review from Kyle Field
  • Nissan LEAF Long-Term Review

    Nissan LEAF Long Term Review from Cynthia Shahan
  • Interview with Michael Liebreich

    Interview with Michael Liebreich
  • Interview with Akon (Teslas & Solar)

    Interview with Akon Tesla Model S Tesla Model X Solar Power Africa
  • Interview with Dr Nawal Al-Hosany

    Interview with Dr Nawal Al-Hosany
  • Interview with Gro Brundtland

    Gro Brundtland
  • Interview with President of Iceland

    President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson
  • Interview with Nick Sampson

    Faraday Future VP Nick Sampson
  • Interview with Dipal Barua

    Dipal Barua 1st ZFEP WInner
  • Interview with Jonathon Porritt

    Jonathon Porritt
  • Interview with Clint Wilder

    Interview with Clint Wilder
  • Interviews with Solar Impulse Pilots

    Bertrand Piccard Andre Borschberg
  • Check out more CleanTechnica Videos.

  • Join The Solar Revolution!

    Edison-solar-energy solar-energy-spill-nice-day
  • Cost of Solar Panels

    cost-of-solar-down
  • Search the IM Network


Shares