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Powering Up: Energy in Hawaii

A Special Report from the State of Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT)

(page 9 of 9)

Clean Energy Solutions

Hawai‘i and U.S. Dept. of Energy working together to build a global model for the future

Ken Kelly, Senior Project Leader,
National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Photo: Olivier Koning

Over the past decade, Hawai‘i has built a close relationship with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in pursuing clean energy solutions. In 2008, DOE and the state entered into a long-term partnership, known as the Hawai‘i Clean Energy Initiative (HCEI), to pursue “a fundamental and sustained transformation in the way in which renewable energy and efficiency resources are planned and used in the state.”

DOE has helped advance HCEI by providing extensive technical analyses and funding for multiple projects across the islands. These projects include: detailed wind and solar integrations studies, distributed photovoltaics, a wind farm on O‘ahu, smart grid projects, electric vehicle charging networks, energy efficient appliance and solar water heating rebates, and low-interest loans. More than $175 million in DOE funds have helped catalyze $2 billion in potential investments in Hawai‘i.

DOE staff from its Energy Offices and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has been working in Hawai‘i supporting the clean energy initiative continuously since 2007.

Jim Spaeth, Senior Advisor,
Pacific Region, U.S. Department of Energy

Photo: Olivier Koning

“This vital collaboration not only allows us to better understand Hawai‘i’s natural advantages and challenges to meeting its energy goals but also will provide a replicable model for a clean energy future around the globe,” said Jim Spaeth, the current DOE Pacific Region representative. Spaeth previously served as director of the Office of Commercialization & Project Management in the Golden, Colo., office.

NREL Senior Project Leader Ken Kelly has spent the past two years in Hawai‘i supporting the HCEI. Among his many contributions, Kelly led the development of the HCEI roadmap for achieving the 2030 clean energy vision and helped to catalyze electric vehicle use and other transportation solutions for Hawai‘i.

“The results over the past four years have been truly transformational,” Kelly said. “Renewable electricity generation is expanding rapidly. Hawai‘i is currently ranked first in the nation for energy savings performance contracting and leads the nation in electric vehicle infrastructure.”

The DOE partnership with Hawai‘i will continue and grow with future technical and environmental analyses of island clean energy options, and exciting new investments in areas such as solar, hydrogen, wave and smart grid technologies.

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