Powering Past Coal Task Force
By Executive Order, Gov. David Ige has established the Powering Past Coal Task Force (PPCTF). Chaired by Chief Energy Officer Scott Glenn, the purpose of this task force is to “convene stakeholders to increase transparency, coordination, collaboration, and urgency to timely facilitate, coordinate, and align project development and reviews by Hawaiian Electric, state, and county agencies for those measures anticipated to provide electricity for Oahu to replace the coal plant’s electricity…”
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- Large stationary combustion energy facilities in Hawaii accounted for 40% of the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Hawai‘i in 2016 according to the December 2019 Hawaii Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report published by the Hawaii Department of Health.
- Oahu’s only coal plant was the second largest stationary combustion energy facility source of GHG in Hawaii in 2016, accounting for 20% of the total GHG emitted by large stationary combustion energy facilities according to the December 2019 Hawai‘i Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report.
- Hawaii is a member of the Powering Past Coal Alliance.
- Act 23 effectively bans the use of coal for electrical power generation in Hawai‘i after September 1, 2022, the expiration date of the coal plant’s power purchase agreement with Oahu’s electric utility.
- The coal plant generates firm electrical power for Oahu’s grid and is Oahu’s second largest power plant. It provided 16% of Oahu’s electrical energy and 180 MW of capacity in 2020.
- Replacing the coal plant’s electrical energy and capacity at a cost-competitive price will require Stage 1 and 2 renewable energy projects on Oahu approved by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to be on line, in addition to other potential measures such as approved community-based renewable energy projects, grid services contracts, and distributed energy resources.
- Renewable energy projects that are intended to replace the electricity from the coal plant are experiencing delays that cause concern about cost and reliability, particularly for fall 2022 and summer 2023.
- The reviews and implementation of the identified measures on Oahu can be facilitated by a coordinated stakeholder effort involving those entities with a key role in project permitting, including community engagement.
- Under section 196-71(b)(3), Hawaii Revised Statutes, one of the missions of the Hawaii State Energy Office is to “[p]rovide renewable energy… project deployment facilitation to assist private sector project completion when aligned with state energy goals.”
- Under section 196-72(d)(15), Hawaii Revised Statutes, one of the duties of the Chief Energy Officer is to facilitate the efficient, expedited permitting of renewable energy and energy resiliency projects by coordinating and aligning state and county departments and agencies to support, expedite, and remove barriers to deployment of energy initiatives and projects.