Hawaiian Electric Company, the provider of electricity to 95% of Hawai’i’s residents, just announced that it will deactivate its Honolulu Power Plant on January 31st, 2014. The move is part of the company’s overall strategy to increase the statewide use of renewable energy and reduce Hawaii’s dependency on imported fossil fuels.
Ron Cox, Hawaiian Electric’s Vice President of Power Supply, told Hawaii News Now:
“Thanks to the lower use of electricity and tremendous growth in renewable energy as a result of Hawaii’s clean energy efforts, we’re able to deactivate some older, less efficient oil-fired generating units on Oahu, Maui and Hawaii Island. This will help us use less oil and lower customers’ electric bills.”
The Honolulu Power Plant, one of the three major power plants on Oahu, first went into service in 1954 when Hawai’i was still a territory of the U.S. Once the Honolulu plant is closed, the remaining two oil-fired power plants will have a combined generating capacity of 113 megawatts.
The renewable energy surge in Hawai’i is responsible for this promising trend. A growing amount of the island’s energy needs are powered by renewable sources including Hawaiian Electric’s biofuel station at Campbell Industrial Park, the City & County’s H-POWER waste-to-energy facility, two wind farms owned and operated by First Wind, several utility-scale solar facilities and thousands of photovoltaic systems on residential rooftops.