Is Hawaii's Interisland Cable Plan Dead?

Hawaiian Electric

Hawaiian Electric Co. says it is years ahead of schedule in meeting renewable energy goals. And it won't have to rely on controversial interisland cables to bring power from the neighbor islands to Oahu, the company says.

A major component of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative has been to connect the electric grids of Oahu, Maui County and maybe even the Big Island via undersea cables. That plan was put in place in 2008 in an agreement between the state and HECO and requires the company to produce 40 percent of its power through renewable sources by 2030.

Utility executives and policymakers viewed Oahu, which contains 75 percent of the state's population, as energy hungry and resource poor. Tapping neighbor island resources for Oahu was said to be critical to meeting clean energy goals.

But a new report that details the utility's five-year energy plans for Oahu, the Big Island and Maui County says that Oahu can meet its renewable energy requirements on its own.

The plan also provides a timeline to take oil-fired generators offline, supports importing liquefied natural gas and installing smart grid technology throughout the islands. The report reflects an increasing focus on customer costs.

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