This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

January 30, 2008

Hawaii and DOE Sign Agreement to Advance Hawaiian Clean Energy

The State of Hawaii and DOE formed a partnership on January 28 that will work towards dramatically shifting Hawaii's energy system from one that is fueled primarily by oil to one that is powered primarily by renewable energy. Governor Linda Lingle and Alexander Karsner, DOE's assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy, signed a long-term Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to establish the partnership, called the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative. The partnership aims to have 70% of all of Hawaii's energy needs generated by renewable energy sources by 2030, cutting crude oil consumption in the state by 72%. It will start with seven joint working groups that will tackle the topics of transportation, energy efficiency, power generation, power delivery, technology integration, sustained financing, and policy and regulatory mechanisms. That work will identify the mechanisms that Hawaii will need to implement to meet its energy goals.

Through the new partnership, DOE will help Hawaii to develop its renewable energy resources, including wind, biomass, solar, ocean, and geothermal energy. The partnership will focus on both public and private sectors, and will simultaneously target various energy efficient opportunities. DOE and Hawaii also aim to design cost-effective approaches to using renewable energy exclusively on the smaller islands; design systems to improve the stability of electric grids operating with variable generating sources; minimize energy use and maximize energy efficiency at military housing developments; and expand Hawaii's ability to use locally grown crops and byproducts for fuels and electricity. See the DOE press release, Governor Lingle's press release, and the full text of the MOU (PDF 180 KB). Download Adobe Reader.

Governor Lingle got a head start on the shift to renewable energy in early January, when she announced plans to install solar photovoltaic power systems at 12 locations around the state. The systems will have a combined capacity to produce as much as 34 megawatts of solar power. Eleven solar power systems will be installed at facilities owned by the state's Department of Transportation (DOT), including seven airports, and one will be installed at the Hawaii Foreign-Trade Zone in downtown Honolulu. The DOT is currently soliciting proposals and intends to have all systems installed and operating within two years. Responses are due today. See the governor's press release and the request for proposals.