Sen. Hirono Introduces Bill to Promote Affordable Clean Energy

August 3, 2019, 9:00 AM HST (Updated August 1, 2019, 7:43 PM)
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Last week Sen. Mazie Hirono introduced a bill to promote affordable and reliable electricity from clean energy sources and support the reduction of carbon emissions in Hawai‘i and throughout the country.

The Next Generation Electric Systems Act would establish a competitive grant program to modernize the nation’s electric systems to accommodate additional renewable sources, improve energy storage systems and deliver affordable and reliable energy service to communities. The legislation would help the state of Hawai‘i achieve its goals to generate 100% renewable electricity by 2045.

“Innovative and creative partnerships are necessary to build a low-carbon, energy efficient economy as we transition away from our dependence on fossil fuels and toward a sustainable future,” Sen. Hirono said. “The Next Generation Electric Systems Act would foster these partnerships and accelerate the development of new energy technologies to support high levels of renewable power use in our power systems. As a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, I will continue fighting for investments in the clean energy economy.”

“This legislation can accelerate the innovation that is creating a flexible, secure and resilient energy network that is essential for public health and safety and the foundation of a strong economy,” said Alan Oshima, President and CEO of Hawaiian Electric Company.

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“The latest data shows us that an accelerated transition to an economy powered by clean energy means dollars saved and jobs created in Hawai‘i. We support this bill because there is a growing need to further support the widespread adoption of distributed energy resources and a significant opportunity for technology advancement on the distribution grid,” said Dawn Lippert, CEO of Elemental Excelerator.

The bill would establish a grant program to develop and execute projects related to transforming the electric grid. Eligible projects would include:

  • Projects to improve the resiliency, performance and efficiency of the electric grid;
  • The integration of distributed power generation, energy storage, electric vehicles, microgrids, energy efficiency and customer demand response programs;
  • The integration of telecommunications and information technologies to support management of the electric system.

The bill was previously included as part of a package of energy bills that passed the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in 2015.

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