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Gov. Linda Lingle, R-Hawaii, has announced a comprehensive agreement to decisively move the state away from its dependence on fossil fuels for electricity and ground transportation in order to have 70% of the state's energy come from clean energy sources by 2030.

The agreement includes the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, the State Consumer Advocate and the Hawaiian Electric companies. It stems from months of discussions and work on the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative.

"With this agreement, Hawaii moves to the forefront in energy leadership in the nation," says Kevin Kolevar, assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy, whose office helped negotiate the agreement. "Hawaii's vision will prove to be a boon to the local economy and will lead to more stability and long-term reductions in the cost of energy in Hawaii. It will provide future generations with significant independence from imported fuel."

The agreement includes the following highlights:

- a commitment to integrate as much as ,1100 MW of already identified additional renewable energy on the Hawaiian Electric companies' grids (700 MW to be implemented within five years);

- construction of an undersea cable connecting Maui, Molokai and Lanai into one electrical grid to allow the integration of an additional 400 MW of renewable wind power generated in Maui County for transmission to Oahu;

- a requirement that 40% of electric power come from renewable resources by 2030, doubling the current renewable portfolio standard requirement law;

- commitment from the Hawaiian Electric companies to retire older fossil-fuel-powered energy generation plants as the state moves to a renewable energy future; and

- a prohibition on the construction of any new coal plants in Hawaii.

SOURCE: Office of Gov. Linda Lingle


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