- Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI), parent company of the state’s dominant electric utilities, expects to finalize agreements for the delivery of liquefied natural gas (LNG) by Q1 2016, Pacific Business News reports.
- In its Q3 2015 quarterly report, HEI said the agreement with FortisBC Holdings and the Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) provides for the delivery of 700,000 tonnes per year for the first five years, 600,000 tonnes per year for the next five years, and 500,000 tonnes per year for the last ten years. Both Fortis and HEI must obtain regulatory approval before the deal can be executed.
- HEI hopes to use the LNG as a cleaner and more affordable replacement fuel for the oil that currently dominates its utilities’ fuel mixes as they navigate toward meeting the state’s 100% renewables mandate by 2045.
Hawaii Governor David Ige opposes the utility’s use of LNG because of the high cost of building infrastructure that will not contribute to the state’s renewables growth. At a renewable energy conference in the state in August, Ige told Hawaii stakeholders they should focus on cleaner solutions instead of importing another fossil fuel.
“Any time and money spent on LNG is time and money not spent on renewable energy,” Governor Ige said, according to the Star-Advertiser. “LNG will no longer save us money. LNG is a fossil fuel. LNG is imported.”
Shipping of the specially containerized LNG through specially built ports would begin by 2019 if the plans are approved by the PUC and permits are issued for the necessary infrastructure by state authorities.
HEI’s report indicates it expects implementation of LNG capability will, in conjunction with expansion of renewables, “significantly reduce the compliance costs and risk” in meeting the requirements of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan. Hawaii residents, due to their isolation and continued reliance on fuel oil for generation, face the highest electricity prices of any state in the nation.