2016 Renewable Energy
At first glance, Hawaii is a tropical paradise known for its turquoise waters and pineapple pizza, but beneath the beauty is a flourishing clean energy industry supported by Ascend Analytics' modeling software and services.
Hawaii has been called the 'Silicon Valley of clean energy' and rightfully so, given the state has far more rooftop solar per capita than any other and equally ambitious legislation to match. The Hawaiian legislature passed a bill mandating a 100% renewable energy supply by 2045, the most aggressive renewable energy goal of any in the country. As islands that must import nearly all their fuel, Hawaii's goal is an attempt to eliminate import-dependence, diversify the supply mix, reduce fuel costs, and curtail carbon emissions.
Integrating renewables on a large scale is incredibly challenging. Solar and wind generation, both highly dependent on fickle weather conditions, introduce dramatic fluctuations to the energy supply which can be hard to counter-balance. Faced with this and many other challenges of renewable integration, Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. (HECO) asked Ascend Analytics to evaluate the company's long-term resource plan and help it meet three main objectives:
Ascend analyzed various, HECO-proposed resource plans, comparing a thorough range of portfolio characteristics:
Prior to working with Ascend, HECO had difficulties adopting a planning process that accounted for the extreme variability of renewables at the hourly and sub-hourly scale. Rather than evaluating pre-formulated portfolio scenarios, Ascend accounted for the variability of renewable generation by stochastically simulating a full range of possible weather conditions in our PowerSimm software. The graph below is output from PowerSimm; it shows how flexible, fast-ramping generation drastically fluctuates from about 8am to 6pm when the sun is out and solar generation peaks. Using this and other detailed figures on how renewables would impact generation needs, HECO can plan for its future resource needs down to the minute.
HOW WE HELPED
On July 14, 2017, after multiple attempts and much stakeholder input, the Hawaiian Public Utilities Commission accepted HECO's Ascend-advised PSIP. According to Todd Kanja, System Planning General Manager at HECO, this success, "...certainly could not have [been] achieved....without the efforts and contributions from the team at Ascend."
By providing HECO with the optimal combination of renewables, thermal generation, and battery storage, HECO can begin to:
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