Mapping our path to a sustainable future

Hawaiian Electric
3 min readApr 25, 2024


by Shannon Tangonan | April 25, 2024

In 2017 when I was given the task of producing Hawaiian Electric’s sustainability maps, which show where energy comes from on the five islands we serve, they conveniently fit on two pages.

Each year, more and more “sun” icons appeared with lines to names of large-scale solar projects that were coming or already online — the 20-megawatt West Loch Solar and 49-MW Kawailoa Solar, for instance. The 2017–18 Oahu map debuted another “leaf,” or biofuels icon, for the new Schofield Generating Station.

Then we looked at the 2018 maps: Adding Renewables for the Next Generation. It was getting harder and harder to fit all the renewable projects on the maps for Oahu, Hawaii Island and Maui County and keep it to two pages.

So in 2019 we gave each island/county its own page.

The point I’m trying to make (and I know it’s taking a while) is that our company is committed to the state’s goal to decarbonize our island grids. And these generation maps document our progress. You can view the 2023 Sustainability Maps on our website.

In 2023, 33% of the energy generated across the five islands we serve came from renewable resources. The renewable portfolio standard, or RPS, increased by a percentage point. The 33% was achieved through a mix of solar, geothermal, biomass, hydro, wind and biofuels. The Oahu, Hawaii Island and Maui County systems achieved 30%, 53% and 35% RPS, respectively.

On the 2023 sustainability maps we got to remove the two asterisks from the battery icon for Kapolei Energy Storage, 185 MW/585 MWh. The two asterisks indicate “in progress.” The double asterisks for Waikoloa Solar, 30 MW/120 MWh, came off last year as well, as did the asterisks for Waiawa Solar Power, which generates 36 MW and includes a 144 MWh battery.

These little changes may seem minor on paper. But they represent major leaps toward a sustainable, renewable energy future.

On the 2023 maps we added triple asterisks (in negotiation) for the 15 renewable energy projects selected in our latest round of procurements. I have to admit…it was somewhat tricky. How do we show on a map that installing six new simple-cycle combustion turbines (253 MW) is proposed at the existing 500-MW Waiau Power Plant? We need a green leaf, three asterisks and an “F” for firm renewable energy. It’s not as easy as it seems.

Luckily, we have an awesome graphic artist, Amy Leong, who worked her magic. And I have great colleagues who painstakingly reviewed these maps for accuracy over and over again.

So when you view these maps, know that they show more than just projects or power plants. They represent all of our employees who are working to build a sustainable future for our kids and grandkids and for generations to come.

Shannon Tangonan is a senior communications specialist at Hawaiian Electric.



Hawaiian Electric

Established in 1891, Hawaiian Electric is committed to empowering its customers and communities by providing affordable, reliable, clean and sustainable energy.