Clean Energy Scenario Planning
How do we make sure that Hawai`i’s need for electricity will be met reliably and affordably for the years to come?
It takes careful consideration of likely future demand for electricity and selecting the best mix of energy resources to meet that demand. That choice is not a matter of “either/or.” Rather, an array of solutions will be needed, combining conservation and energy efficiency, renewable, new greener fuels, distributed generation technologies as well as clean and efficient center power plants.
To find the right mix, the Hawaiian Electric Companies previously used a process called Integrated Resource Planning (IRP) established by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission in 1992. IRP was intended to forecast energy demand and analyze the best ways to meet it through demand-side and generation options. Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric, and Hawaii Electric Light Company each undertook a separate IRP process for its service territory aiming to create a 20-year plan with a five-year action plan for implementation.
Today, the urgency is even greater for Hawai`i to reduce its dependence on imported fossil fuels and move more quickly toward locally-produced renewable energy and greater energy efficiency. In the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative energy agreement, the parties recognized that a more dynamic and responsive process is needed. As energy needs and technologies are changing rapidly and are far less predictable, the parties agreed to develop a new Clean Energy Scenario Planning process to replace Integrated Resource Planning.
In May 2009, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) opened a docket to formalize conversion to Clean Energy Scenario Planning. The Consumer Advocate and Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, along with the Hawaiian Electric Companies, were named parties in the docket. Parties and interveners have been working to develop a framework that responds to the PUC’s statement of issues. They include:
What are the objectives of Clean Energy Scenario Planning and how do they differ from the objectives of Integrated Resource Planning?
- What is the basis for each of the proposed changes to Integrated Resource Planning and the question “Are these changes reasonable and in the public interest?”
- Should the proposed changes reflect differences between electric cooperatives (such as Kauai Island Utility Cooperative) and investor-owned utilities (such as the Hawaiian Electric Companies)?
- What should be the role of the state’s public benefits fee administrator, the independent contractor chosen by and reporting to the Public Utilities Commission that is responsible for energy efficiency programs and some demand-side management programs? Until mid-2009, these programs were administered by the Hawaiian Electric Companies and so automatically taken into account in Integrated Resource Planning.
To learn more about the proposed locational value maps, click here.
Updated October 2010