Solar power in Hawaii

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MicroCSP collectors on the Big Island of Hawaii

Hawaii has rapidly adopted solar power due to the high costs of electricity and has one of the highest per capita rates of solar power in the United States. Hawaii's imported energy costs are three times higher, and will soon be close to four times higher[1] than the mainland, so Hawaii has motivation to become one of the highest users of solar energy. Hawaii was the first state in the United States to reach grid parity for photovoltaics. Its tropical location provides abundant sun energy.

Hawaii has a renewable portfolio standard of 40% renewable energy by 2030 and 100% by 2045.[2] Hawaii had almost 200 MW of grid-connected photovoltaics in 2012. 16 MW of PV were installed in 2010, 40 MW in 2011, and 109 MW in 2012.[3][4] The largest solar project in Hawaii, the 12MW Anahola project, opened on November 2, 2015 on Kauai. It has 59,000 panels on 60 acres of land and is expected to supply up to 20% of the island's momentary electricity demand and up to 5% of the annual demand.[5] The Anahola project also incorporates a 6MW lithium-ion battery.[6][7]

The electrical grids of the Hawaiian islands are each separate and relatively small. Issues of overbuilding distributed solar in some areas has led to issues and HECO has made connecting to the grid more difficult, leading to layoffs among the solar installation industry.[8] In 2014, there were over 40,000 rooftop systems, over 10 percent of customers.[9] A proposed grid interconnection between Oahu and Maui would allow more renewable energy.[10]

Kauai has rapidly adopted solar. In 2009, oil provided 91% of the island's electricity. In 2015, solar provided 15% with other renewables providing another 22% with oil only providing 63%.[11] On August 31, 2014, during daytime hours, 57% of power on Kauai was from renewable sources.[12]

In 2012 a typical solar system in Hawaii paid for itself in only 4 years, and returned a profit of over 4 times the cost over its life.[13] Hawaii's 35% ($5000.00 Maximum) state tax credit is the second highest in the country, behind Louisiana.[14] Hawaii offers a feed-in tariff, but it does not meet the normal definition of a feed-in tariff, as it is less than the retail cost of electricity, and is therefore simply a Power Purchase Agreement. The Oahu Wind Integration Study[15] released a report detailing the impact on the Oahu grid and found that 500 MW of wind and 100 MW of solar power could provide Oahu up to 25% of its electricity while eliminating the need to burn approximately 2.8 million barrels of low sulfur fuel oil and 132,000 tons of coal each year.[16]

Solar power energy statistics[edit]

In 2010 Hawaii generated 56 GWh of energy by photovoltaics. The distribution of energy produced per island is as follows in the table below:

Hawaii Grid-Connected PV Capacity (MW)[17][18][19][20][21][22]
Year Capacity Installed % Change
2007 4.5 2.9 181%
2008 13.5 8.6 200%
2009 26.2 12.7 94%
2010 44.7 18.5 71%
2011 85.2 40.5 91%
2012 199.5 114.3 134%
2013 358.2 158.7 80%

This, however, is 0.07% of the state's total electricity generation for 2007, 0.13% for 2008, 0.33% for 2009, and 0.51% for 2010.[23][24] In 2011, solar provided 1% of Hawaii's electricity.[25]

Major solar installations in Hawaii[edit]

  • December 2008: DuPont completed a solar power installation on Kauai that is expected to average 80 kW.[26]
  • December 2008: Sunetric, the largest solar installation company in the state,[27] completed the largest roof-mount solar power installation in Hawaii at Kona Commons shopping mall.[28]
  • 2009: Sopogy completed construction on Hawaii's first concentrating solar power project. The project located at the Natural Energy Laboratories of Hawaii is a 2MW solar thermal project interconnected into the Hawaiian Electric Industries grid under a Power Purchase Agreement.
  • 2009: La Ola Solar Farm on Lanai was dedicated in January, with a design capacity of 1.5 MW (1.2MW AC).[29] After operating at 600KW due to variable cloud cover, in September 2010 Xtreme Power announced plans to incorporate their battery storage technology to bring the system up to design capacity.[30] It is the first photovoltaic power plant in the world to include battery storage.[31]
  • 2011: The Kapaa Solar Farm was completed, a 1.21 MW photovoltaic array, the largest in Hawaii, and the first on the island of Kauai.[32][33][34]
  • 2011: Kapolei Sustainable Energy Park on Oahu, 1.18 MW [25]
  • 2012: Port Allen Solar Facility on Kauai, 6 MW photovoltaic array with 3 MW battery storage.[25][35]
  • 2013: Kalaeloa Solar Power I, 5 MW, a photovoltaic array on Oahu.[36]
  • 2014: Koloa (Grove Farm) 12 MW photovoltaic array, opened in July 2014 on Kauai.[7][37][38]
  • 2015: Anahola, 12 MW photovoltaic array with 6 MW battery storage on Kauai, can produce 20% of Kauai's power during peak production.[39]

Projects under development[edit]

  • Oahu - Ka La Nui Solar Farm, 15MW[40]
  • Oahu - Waianae Solar, 27.6MW[41]
  • Oahu - Kawailoa Solar, 49MW[41]
  • Oahu - Waiawa Solar, 50MW[41]
  • Oahu - Waiawa PV, 45.9MW[41]
  • Oahu - Lanikuhana Solar, 15MW[41]
  • Oahu - Mililani South Solar Park, 20 MW[42][43][44][45]
  • Oahu - Kalaeloa Solar Power II (Photovoltaics), 5MW[46]
  • Oahu - Scatec/Hunt Development, 5.9MW[47]
  • Oahu - IC Sunshine, 5MW[48]
  • Oahu - Hoopili, 7MW, to be completed 2016[49]
  • Oahu - Hoohana Solar, 20MW[41]
  • Kauai - Lihu’e, 13MW, with 52MWh battery, to provide electricity only during the evenings[50]

Source:[51]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ PUC issues interim decision in Hawaiian Electric rate case
  2. ^ New law requires 100-percent renewable energy in Hawaii by 2045, KHON2, Brigette Namata, June 8, 2015
  3. ^ U.S. Solar Market Insight Report
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ Anahola Solar Array set to generate 20% of Kauai's electricity, Hawaii News Now, Nov 8, 2014
  6. ^ REC Solar and KIUC connect Hawaii's largest solar project
  7. ^ a b Hawaii Solar, SEIA
  8. ^ HECO rule pulled the plug on PV jobs, Hawaii News Now, Jim Mendoz, Sep 22, 2014
  9. ^ A Solar Permit Slowdown Is Chilling Oahu’s Installer Market, greentechmedia, Eric Wesoff, June 12, 2014
  10. ^ Linking isles' energy grids will save money, state says, Honolulu Star-Advertiser, Alan Yonan Jr., Jan 22, 2014
  11. ^ Inside the first fully dispatchable utility solar-storage project in Hawaii, UtilityDive, Peter Maloney, October 29, 2015
  12. ^ KIUC flipped the switch on its Koloa solar project on Thursday, Pacific Business News, Duane Shimogawa, Sep 25, 2014
  13. ^ Hawaii State Solar Power Rebates, Tax Credits, and Incentives
  14. ^ Isles power up in solar rankings
  15. ^ Oahu Wind Integration Study
  16. ^ Hawaii Study: Wind and Solar Can Reliably Supply 25% of Oahu Electricity Needs
  17. ^ Sherwood, Larry (July 2014). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2013" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Retrieved 2014-07-27. 
  18. ^ Sherwood, Larry (July 2013). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2012" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). p. 16. Retrieved 2013-10-11. 
  19. ^ Sherwood, Larry (August 2012). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2011" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Retrieved 2012-08-16. 
  20. ^ Sherwood, Larry (June 2011). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2010" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Retrieved 2011-06-29. 
  21. ^ Sherwood, Larry (July 2010). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2009" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Retrieved 2010-07-28. 
  22. ^ Sherwood, Larry (July 2009). "U.S. Solar Market Trends 2008" (PDF). Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC). Retrieved 2010-07-24. 
  23. ^ 2009
  24. ^ 2010
  25. ^ a b c Hawaii Energy Facts & Figures January 2013, State of Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism Hawaii State Energy Office, January 2013, accessed October 11, 2013
  26. ^ Environmental Leader news: DuPont cuts ribbon on Hawaii solar panel project
  27. ^ Solar Power World
  28. ^ Star Bulletin: Kona Commons gets solar system
  29. ^ Lanai Solar Farm Generating 1.5 MW
  30. ^ "Castle & Cooke's Lanai solar farm getting battery boost". 14 September 2010. 
  31. ^ La Ola Solar Farm Now Operating at Full Capacity
  32. ^ REC Solar unveils Hawai‘i’s largest operational solar system
  33. ^ New Kauai solar farm could power 300 homes
  34. ^ Large Solar Farm in Hawaii Opens on Kaua'i Island
  35. ^ [2]
  36. ^ [3]
  37. ^ [4]
  38. ^ Kauai dedicates its Koloa solar project, KHON2, September 25, 2014
  39. ^ [5], REC Solar, November 2, 2015
  40. ^ [6], Honolulu Civil Beat, SOPHIE COCKE, FEBRUARY 18, 2015
  41. ^ a b c d e f http://www.hawaiianelectric.com/heco/_hidden_Hidden/CorpComm/Hawaiian-Electric-sends-six-more-Oahu-solar-contracts-to-Public-Utilities-Commission-for-approval]
  42. ^ Lana'i - Going Green
  43. ^ Castle & Cooke gets waiver for solar farm
  44. ^ Sustainable Future
  45. ^ Hawaii's biggest solar farm proposed for Mililani fields
  46. ^ [7]
  47. ^ [8]
  48. ^ [9]
  49. ^ D.R. Horton plans 2015 start on Hawaii solar farm with new contractor, Pacific Business News, Duane Shimogawa, Sep 19, 2014
  50. ^ Inside the first fully dispatchable utility solar-storage project in Hawaii, UtilityDive, Peter Maloney, October 29, 2015
  51. ^ Renewable Energy Projects in Hawaii

External links[edit]