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

June 04, 2003

Hawaiian Efforts Support Renewables, Efficiency, Fuel Cells

Recent public and private efforts to advance renewable energy, energy efficiency, and fuel cells in Hawaii-including plans to spend up to $10 million in support of renewable power projects-are giving the state a new prominence in the clean energy arena.

The Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) is involved in many of these actions, including low-interest loans and rebates for solar hot water systems in Honolulu and the opening of the Hawaii Fuel Cell Test Facility, also in Honolulu. And in late May, HECO announced that its subsidiary, Renewable Hawaii, Inc., is requesting proposals for renewable energy projects on the island of Oahu. The company has approval to invest up to $10 million in grid-connected power projects that draw on renewable energy. See the HECO press releases and the Renewable Hawaii Web site.

HECO also worked with the State of Hawaii and DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to generate new high-resolution wind resource maps for the islands of Oahu, Maui, Molokai, and Lanai. Although the full set of maps is currently being validated by a local meteorologist and by NREL, the 50-meter wind speed maps for each island are now available.

Hawaii is also showing leadership in its State Energy Program and Weatherization Assistance Program, which earned the praise of Deputy Secretary of Energy Kyle McSlarrow during a visit on May 30th. Hawaii's State Energy Program is seeking to develop wind and solar energy and is working to implement a Model Energy Code for buildings. Hawaii's Weatherization Assistance Program works in cooperation with community organizations to improve residential energy efficiency for low-income families. The two programs will receive a total of $526,000 from DOE for the 2003 to 2004 fiscal year. See the DOE press release.