HONOLULU, Hawaii (AP) - An energy storage facility could replace Hawaii's final coal-fired plant which will close in 2022. It has been operating for 30 years.
AES Corporation's coal plant provided up to a fifth of the electricity in Oahu, the most populous state island. The then-Gov. said that shutting down the coal plant would mean a stop to the annual emissions of 1.5 million metric tonnes of greenhouse gases. David Ige spoke as the plant was closing in September.
Battery storage, wind and solar power are among the new potential uses of the 8.5-acre Kapolei property, according to the company.
The Honolulu Star-Advertiser published a report on Wednesday.
In recent years, energy storage farms have increasingly replaced old coal-fired power plants.
Since last year, construction has begun on the largest standalone energy system in the State. Plus Power, based in San Francisco, is developing the project with an energy storage capability of 565 Megawatt-hours.
Hawaiian Electric can now accept and use more renewable energy, such as rooftop solar, through storage projects.
Hawaiian Electric's largest source of electricity is still oil-burned electricity, which it uses to serve Oahu and Hawaii Island as well as Maui, Molokai, Lanai, and Molokai. According to the utility company, 32% of electricity generation in 2022 will come from renewable sources.
Hawaii, like other Pacific Islands, has been affected by the cascading effects of climate change. Coral reefs are being destroyed by bleaching due to increased ocean temperatures and rapid sea level rise. The state also faces more intense storms, drought, and an increase in wildfire risks.
Hawaii's Legislature passed in 2020 a law that would ban the use of coal as an energy source by 2023. Hawaii was the first to mandate a 100% renewable energy transition by 2045.