This group brings together the best thinkers on energy and climate. Join us for smart, insightful posts and conversations about where the energy industry is and where it is going.


AES Hawaii's transition to all-green energy is reminiscent of Kafka's metamorphosis…

image credit: Source: In January 2019, AES and Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) commissioned what at the time was considered the world’s largest solar PV + Battery Energy Storage (BESS) facility, the 28 MWdc PV + 100 MWh BESS Lāwa‘i facility on Kaua‘i. We worke
German Toro Ghio's picture
CEO, Germán & Co

Germán José Manuel Toro Ghio, son of Germán Alfonso and Jenny Isabel Cristina, became a citizen of planet Earth in the cold dawn of Sunday, May 11, 1958, in Santiago, capital of southern Chile....

  • Member since 2022
  • 294 items added with 116,653 views
  • Jun 2, 2023

In February 2016, National Geographic published an article discussing the occurrence of Hawaii's largest waves in years attributed to changing weather patterns. This phenomenon is a consequence of the significant storms generated in the Pacific Ocean due to the El Niño phenomenon.


Hawaii is a group of volcanic islands in the central Pacific Ocean. The distance between the islands and San Francisco is 2,397 miles, while between the islands and Manila is 5,293. The capital of Hawaii is located on the island of Oahu and is known as Honolulu. During the 19th century, the population of Hawaii experienced a significant increase, leading to the establishment of a plantation system that focused on the cultivation of sugar cane, coffee, and pineapples. The annexation of the territory by the United States occurred in 1898. On December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor was attacked by Japanese fighter planes, which resulted in the United States' entry into World War II. Hawaii achieved statehood on August 21, 1959, becoming the 50th state of the United States. Hawaii, boasting a land area of 28,412 square kilometers and a population exceeding 1.4 million, remains a globally sought-after tourist destination.

AES Hawaii a surreal transformation reminiscent of Franz Kafka's literary work…

  Bernerd Da Santos, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and President, Renewables

Before delving into the history of AES Hawaii, whit Bernerd Da Santos, Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and President, Renewables, a Venezuelan native, joined AES in 2000 and revolutionized the company's operations to offer eco-friendly and innovative energy solutions. The person updated safety, environmental, and supply chain systems digitized IT processes, and created four Smart Centers. He has global experience in corporate finance and business transformation for energy companies worldwide. Bernard is AES's EVP, COO, and President of Renewables. He transformed AES operations to provide customers with safer, more reliable, greener energy solutions. 

In recent years, the energy sector has shifted, particularly in response to Russia's incursion into Ukraine. The military operation caused a significant disruption in the natural gas supply to Europe, thereby underscoring the vulnerability of the region's energy security. Amidst the current crisis, there has been a noticeable trend towards adopting renewable energy sources, a reassuring development. The transition towards sustainable alternatives is paramount in mitigating our reliance on non-renewable energy sources and achieving a more sustainable energy future. It is imperative to prioritize safeguarding the environment and future generations interests by adopting sustainable and renewable energy solutions.

Over the past three decades, AES Hawaii has experienced substantial transformations. The modifications emulate the paradise island ambience of Hawaii, renowned for its colossal waves that attract visitors from around the world, as well as the popular television series Hawaii Five-0…

It is noteworthy to bear in mind that Hawaii exhibits the highest dependence on imported fossil fuels compared to all other states in the United States, thereby emphasizing the criticality of attaining its clean energy objectives. The significance of this matter extends beyond the state's economy, as it also pertains to the preservation of the environment and the assurance of energy security.

To attain the objectives set for the year 2045…

As Hawaii strives to reach a complete transition to renewable energy sources by 2045, collaborative efforts with utilities, communities, landowners, and customers are being pursued to provide ecologically sustainable and technologically advanced energy solutions. Through joint efforts with local leaders and utilities leading the way in the clean energy transition, such as Kauaʻi Island Utility Cooperative and the Hawaiian Electric Companies, we actively develop innovative and sustainable energy solutions. The objective of this initiative is to accelerate the process of energy transition in Hawaiʻi while ensuring that all customers across the state have access to electricity prices that are both dependable and economical.

“The objective of this initiative is to expedite Hawaii's shift towards a future that is free of carbon emissions. Since the 1980s, there has been a concerted effort to address the increasing demand for energy in the region. The Barbers Point power plant, powered by coal and has a capacity of 180 MW, was established on the island of Oahu in 1992 and has remained operational ever since. Over three decades, the power plant has consistently delivered reliable and secure energy, satisfying up to 20% of the island's energy requirements at an economical rate for the local populace. According to Bernerd Da Santos, the plant's retirement on September 1, 2022, is a significant milestone in the joint efforts made a steadfast commitment to supporting the state's transition towards a future of energy free from carbon emissions.

“The implementation of diversity across the islands is underway, with more than 300 MW of solar and wind resources already operational or in development. Bernerd Da Santos, has expressed that the company is collaborating closely with the State of Hawaii and local utilities to devise pragmatic strategies to attain their goals. Hawaii has committed to supporting the state in expediting and responsibly transitioning towards a future of energy free from carbon emissions.

“Finally, according Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and President, Renewables, stated that the newly established objectives for producing renewable energy contribute to stabilizing rates and enhancing the system's reliability. Our operational initiatives have the potential to provide significant support during periods of high demand. In contrast, our persistent endeavours to promote initiatives for renewable energy initiatives will aid in accomplishing the state's objective of attaining 100% renewable energy.

Matt Chester's picture
Matt Chester on Jun 2, 2023

Hawaii will be able to set the stage for how other island communities manage the energy transition. Given these regions are the most vulnerable to climate change, they really have no choice but to take action

Jim Stack's picture
Jim Stack on Jun 5, 2023

German, It is nice that Hawaii become the land of paradise like they have been know as . Forever that have had Solar in the Sunshine, geo thermal in the volcano areas, wind power, wave power in the tides and mild temperatures. They did away with their last COAL plant in 2022 so they are really making progress. 

German Toro Ghio's picture
Thank German for the Post!
Energy Central contributors share their experience and insights for the benefit of other Members (like you). Please show them your appreciation by leaving a comment, 'liking' this post, or following this Member.
More posts from this member

Get Published - Build a Following

The Energy Central Power Industry Network® is based on one core idea - power industry professionals helping each other and advancing the industry by sharing and learning from each other.

If you have an experience or insight to share or have learned something from a conference or seminar, your peers and colleagues on Energy Central want to hear about it. It's also easy to share a link to an article you've liked or an industry resource that you think would be helpful.

                 Learn more about posting on Energy Central »