Lingle Marks HCEI Anniversary, Announces Additional Steps

Gov. Linda Lingle, R-Hawaii, reaffirmed her administration's commitment to a clean energy-driven Hawaii economy at an event marking the second anniversary of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative (HCEI).

Two years ago, Lingle announced the HCEI partnership between Hawaii and the U.S. Department of Energy to transform Hawaii from the most foreign oil-dependent state in the nation to obtaining 70% of its energy from clean sources by 2030.

Wind-generated electricity is one of the fastest-growing renewable energy industries in Hawaii, according to the governor. An agreement between Hawaiian Electric Co., Castle & Cooke and First Wind in March 2009 initiated wind energy projects on the islands of Lanai and Molokai, where wind resources are the most abundant, each with potential to supply between 200 MW and 400 MW of power.

The state is also studying the development of an undersea cable between Maui County and Oahu that would transport renewable energy from where it is more abundant to where it is most needed.

Seafloor surveys have confirmed the physical feasibility of the project and identified possible cable routes. The state has also issued a request for proposals for an environmental impact statement (EIS) and will look to the findings of that EIS to help it make decisions that work for everyone. The state hopes to commence construction of the cable within three years.

To continue building on the foundation of the HCEI, Lingle unveiled a package of legislative initiatives that will serve as effective incentives for investments in clean energy. The measures include a ban on the construction of new power plants that burn fossil fuels and a general excise tax exemption on renewable energy projects of at least 2 MW that are placed in service between Jan. 1, 2011 and Jan. 1, 2015.

SOURCE: Office of Gov. Linda Lingle

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