On August 26, 2014, the Hawaiian Electric Companies (HECO) submitted updated integrated resource plans to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC). The resource plans for Hawaii Electric Light, Hawaiian Electric Power, and Maui Electric call for a resource mix by 2030 with nearly triple the current rooftop solar capacity and an overall generation mix of more than 65% energy from renewable resources. HECO anticipates the plans will reduce customer bills by 20%.
The HECO IRPs have proposed a long-term strategy to transition to high penetrations of renewable energy. This is a step forward from the issue-by-issue debates that are being held in other parts of the country. Hawaii is a prime location for a comprehensive strategy as fuel costs—driven largely by imported oil—account for 70% of electric bills. This dynamic allows renewable investments in the short and medium term to lower rates over the long term.
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