Hawaii has always been the perfect landscape for introducing renewable energy products; whether wind or solar, Hawaii has a sustainable future ahead. However, there seem to be some road blocks amiss on our (Hawaii's) journey to energy independence.
The Maui Electric Company (MECO) currently has a 15% threshold enabled across the island. This threshold puts a strain on the State's ability to create a more sustainable energy grid. The population density of MECO is far less than that of the island of Oahu, hence reaching the 15% threshold can be done very quickly.
Studies compiled by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have shown that it is very possible to reach up to 50% of energy delivery provided by renewable energies. It has also been shown that renewable energy products, such as Solar Energy systems can provide numerous ways to offset energy imports:
1.) Solar Thermal Systems provide energy savings for hot water energy consumption without any impact on grid threshold
2.) PV systems can assist utilities by stabilizing the grid, even more so when combined a utility based "Smart Grid".
Fortunately, the Hawaii Solar Energy Association (HSEA) works directly with MECO to assist with advancing towards our sustainable goals. The HSEA strives to continue this partnership to deliver a more advanced sustainable future for Maui.