By Zoe Sottile, CNN
On Wednesday, Hawaii received its last shipment of coal before closing its last functioning coal plant.
Gov. David Ige called the final shipment “a huge step forward in Hawaiʻi’s transition to clean energy” on Twitter.
“In its time, coal was an important resource for Hawai’i and I’d like to thank the workers who have run our last remaining coal plant.”
“Renewable energy projects to replace coal are coming online with more on the way,” wrote Ige. “Even as we face challenges in making this transition, it’s the right move for our communities and planet. Most importantly, it will leave Hawaiʻi a better place for our children and grandchildren.”
The shipment came from Indonesia, according to CNN affiliate KHNL. The power plant was built by AES Corporation in the 1980s and supplies electricity to tens of thousands of homes on Oahu, KHNL reported.
Although it is not clear what will become of the power plant itself, AES has said it will offer jobs at its solar, wind, and battery storage projects to the 40 remaining coal plant employees.
In 2015, Gov. Ige signed a bill setting a goal for Hawaii state utilities to generate 100 percent of their electricity sales from renewable energy resources by 2045, according to a news release from his office.
The state has been a leader in pursuing renewable energy sources like solar energy: The capital city of Honolulu has the highest solar capacity per person, according to a report from April.
And in 2020, the state signed Senate Bill 2629 into law, which bans utilities from adding new coal-powered plants or extending existing agreements with facilities burning coal after 2022.
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