Hawaii sees green future - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii sees green future

Robbie Alm Robbie Alm

By Mari-Ela David - bio | email

(KHNL) - It's been 10 months in the works -- a plan to execute Governor Linda Lingle's vision of cutting Hawaii's dependence on imported fossil fuels.

The ultimate goal is to generate 70% of our island's electricity from clean energy sources by 2030.

There are about 13 projects highlighted in the initiative, including moving away from old, fossil fuel-powered plants like the one near Aloha Tower

Chopper 8 flies above Kahe Power Plant in Nanakuli, which runs on fossil fuels.

Under the state's Clean Energy Initiative, HECO agrees to retire plants like this one, if it plans to build a new bio-fuel plant.

"So anytime we want to propose anything beyond that one that's going to Campbell right now -- if we want to propose another unit on the island -- we would then have to propose, as part of that, what we would retire to match the addition of a new facility," said Robbie Alm, HECO executive vice president.

The initiative also involves tapping into wind power, such as at Maui's wind farm.

HECO says it plans to build an undersea cable connecting the Valley Isle, Molokai and Lanai into one electrical grid.

"The idea is to get 400 mw from either -- or maybe a combination of the two -- and use an undersea cable to bring it to Oahu," said Alm.

HECO's executive vice president Robbie Alm says it's just one of many projects that will help Hawaii switch fuels.

"Because we don't drive long distances, we don't home heat, air conditioning is still not the norm. We have huge opportunities to really be able to change the oil equation," said Alm.

It's a change state leaders hope will transform Hawaii into the nation's leader in renewable energy use.

Under the clean energy initiative, HECO customers can get lower rates on their electric bills for using power during off-peak times.

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