Hawaii moves toward clean energy


Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie has signed a new bill which establishes a green infrastructure financing program for Hawaii. The Green Energy Market Securitization (GEMS) program is a financing model that aims to make clean energy improvements more affordable and accessible to underserved community members.

The new law creates the framework for a financing structure that will fund this clean energy financing program. Under GEMS, Hawaii’s underserved markets, including low- and moderate-income homeowners, renters and non-profits will be able to finance the purchase and installation of energy saving devices without the typically high upfront costs. Payment for the devices would be made over time through one’s electricity bill and paid for with the energy savings. The state’s Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT) will facilitate the GEMS financing program via the Hawaii State Energy Office.

The next step for GEMS is for DBEDT to file financing order and program order applications for review by the Public Utilities Commission. GEMS is targeted for implementation in 2014.

Some renewables companies already in Hawaii also made announcements about helping similar populations in the state. Solar contractor RevoluSun will be adding a new non-profit division to support local nonprofits.

Blue Earth, Inc. a renewable energy and energy efficiency services company has also announced that its subsidiary Xnergy Inc. will provide engineering support, procurement for majority of the equipment and complete construction services for the approximate 3 megawatts of solar PV projects in Hawaii.

“This new measure allows us to bring clean energy improvements within reach for a broader segment of the community,” said Gov. Abercrombie. “More of Hawaii’s residents will be able to take advantage of green devices that will ultimately lower electricity bills and contribute to the state’s clean energy growth.”