Geothermal, Solar, Wind Power

Boost for Hawaiian Green Energy

Holding true to her campaign promise to promote Renewable Energy, Hawaii’s new Governor Linda Lingle helped secure US$10 million for Renewable Energy investments throughout the islands.

Honolulu, Hawaii – January 14, 2003 [SolarAccess.com] Lingle and T. Michael May, president and CEO of Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO), unveiled the formation of a new HECO subsidiary that will invest in Renewable Energy projects for Hawaii. “Reducing Hawaii’s dependency on fossil fuels is a high priority for my administration,” said Lingle. “Renewable Energy and energy conservation are critical to preserving our environment and will help protect consumers against volatile price increases in fossil fuel. It will take private and public partnerships to achieve this goal, which is why I am pleased that HECO is stepping up to the plate by creating Renewable Hawaii, Inc.” “We know how critical Renewable Energy is to our state,” said May. “We sponsor the largest solar water heating program in the nation, and already buy power from renewable sources such as H-Power, geothermal and wind. Forming a separate company to invest in additional renewable projects takes this commitment to the next level.” The subsidiary will be initially capitalized at a level of US$10 million, with more funding to follow as projects that merit support are presented to the company. In her pre-election “Agenda for a New Beginning,” Governor Lingle set forth a goal of 20 percent Renewable Energy use by 2020. HECO and its neighbor island subsidiaries, Hawaii Electric Light Company and Maui Electric Company, last year obtained about seven percent of electric sales from renewable sources, compared with a national average of about two percent. “As Hawaii’s energy needs continue to increase, we all need to work together to find the right balance to meet those needs,” said Lingle. “This will include developing new Renewable Energy sources and emphasizing energy conservation and energy efficiency. The commitment of the State’s largest utility to this goal is a solid start.”