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Hawaiʻi Gas aims to diversify fuel supply and reduce carbon footprint
Hawaiʻi Gas, the only regulated gas utility in the state, has issued a request for proposals (RFP) to purchase renewable natural gas (RNG) and renewable hydrogen. This initiative aligns with the company's clean energy strategy outlined in its Integrated Resource Plan submitted to the Hawaiʻi Public Utilities Commission (HPUC).
The proposals from both local and national suppliers would provide up to 65,000 therms of RNG or up to 2,300 kg per day of renewable hydrogen. The request aims to replace almost all of the utility's synthetic natural gas with RNG. Additionally, the utility plans to increase its use of renewable hydrogen, which does not produce carbon emissions, with safety and affordability being key factors in the transition.
RNG can be produced from various sources, including wastewater treatment plants, landfills, construction and demolition waste, bio-crops, food waste, and dairy farms. Renewable hydrogen can be generated using renewable electricity for electrolysis and steam methane reforming of RNG. Hawaiʻi Gas will consider proposals for one or multiple forms of RNG and renewable hydrogen or a blend of the two.
The acquisition of RNG and renewable hydrogen will enable Hawaiʻi Gas to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and contribute to the state's clean energy goals. Hawaiʻi Gas has been using RNG from Honolulu's Honouliuli Wastewater RNG facility since 2018 and blending up to 15% hydrogen into its gas mix since 1974.
“Increasing our use of RNG and renewable hydrogen has been part of our strategic plan for a number of years. When achieved, it will be a highly visible part of Hawaiʻi’s clean energy future,” said Alicia Moy, president and CEO of Hawaiʻi Gas. “We are serious about our commitment to carbon neutrality, and we intend to lead the nation in finding ways to integrate more renewable energy sources into our pipeline. We already have a 50-year head start on mainland gas companies in our use of hydrogen in utility gas distribution. While our business represents less than 1% of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions, we are committed to reducing our carbon footprint.”
The company plans to enter into one or more fuel supply agreements for RNG and renewable hydrogen, contingent upon approval from the HPUC.