Grid Talk
Hawaii All-in on Solar - Goes Big on EVs
Grid Talk
Hawaii All-in on Solar - Goes Big on EVs
May 24, 2021
DOE|Advanced Grid Research

With nearly 90,000 rooftop solar systems, Hawaii is a national leader when it comes to solar power. Now, the state is taking the next step in its clean energy journey with a goal to electrify most ground transportation by 2035. 

In this episode of Grid Talk, host Marty Rosenberg talks with Constance Lau who is the President and CEO of Hawaiian Electric Industries, the parent of Hawaiian Electric. The discussion focuses on Hawaii's renewable energy portfolio and the impact of going all EV.

“We have to get ready for a lot more provision of electricity because we’ll be providing electricity not to just the normal parts of the economy - but now if transportation starts switching over to use electricity as a fuel, we’ll have to be prepared to provide that as well,” said Lau.

A concurrent goal would see Hawaii become carbon neutral 2045. That means Hawaii is ramping up renewables. Ms. Lau explains why it’s more complicated than just adding more capacity.

“We’re seeing very interesting discussions where competing land use policies are needing to be discussed and judgement calls made by our policy makers.”

She also talks about the challenge of integrating all the distributed systems to create an efficient grid for powering homes, businesses, and vehicles.

Ms. Lau joined the HEI companies in 1984 and has served in numerous legal, financial, operating and executive roles. She is a nationally recognized leader in the fields of critical infrastructure, resilience and physical and cyber security, banking, and energy. 

Ms. Lau graduated from Yale College with a B.S. in administrative sciences. She earned a juris doctor from the University of California Hastings College of the Law and a master’s in business administration from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.