The average retail price of electricity in Hawaii is $0.306 per kWh, which is highest cost for electricity in the United States. Fossil fuels (petroleum and coal) provide 85% of fuel for Hawaii’s power plants. Petroleum and coal are shipped from the mainland, which significantly increases the cost for the fossil fuel. Only 15% of Hawaii’s electricity is from renewable energy.
Hawaii beginning to move to cost effective, renewable energy. A new solar-plus-storage project in Kauai, Hawaii, will provide electricity at power at $0.11 per kWh, significantly below the current average retail price. The new solar-plus-storage project will also eliminate the consumption of 3.7 million gallons of diesel fuel per year by the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC).
The new solar-plus-storage project in Kauai will be owned and operated by AES Distributed Energy and KIUC. The project includes 28-MW of solar PV and a 100-MWh, five-hour duration energy storage system. The project will be the largest utility-sale solar-plus-storage system in Hawaii.
Prior to World War II, Hawaii’s electricity was provided by diesel fueled power plants. Electrical power was required for the military bases, agriculture and tourism. Over the past eighty years, Hawaii has been slow to move away from fossil fuel. Fortunately, the utilities and state legislators are working together toward green, renewable energy.