Friday, March 18, 2016

USA, Hawaii: Renewable Energy Project Timelines Lag Compared to California

Is Hawaii Hampering Efforts To Reach Renewable Energy Goal? (Honolulu Civil Beat)

Whether it’s utility executives or state regulators who are to blame, renewable energy projects often take years to come to fruition in Hawaii, something that’s deterring investors and hampering efforts to stop producing electricity from oil and coal.

That was the sentiment Thursday from experts on a panel at the Maui Energy Conference. They cited times when the Public Utilities Commission and Hawaiian Electric companies have delayed progress in reaching the state’s 100 percent renewable energy goal by 2045.

Murray Clay, managing partner at Ulupono Initiative, a sustainability-focused investment firm, highlighted four projects that have been “pushed off the bridge” including 25 megawatts of geothermal from Ormat/PGV.

During his panel discussion, Clay compared Hawaii to California in terms of how rapidly projects are approved.

When factoring in requests for proposals, negotiations with the utility, approval by regulators and entitlements, Clay said a renewable energy project in Hawaii can take 14 months to more than 12 years. California, by his estimation, takes 11 to 14 months.

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