According to the office of Gov. Linda Lingle, R-Hawaii, the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has opened an investigative docket to explore ways for state and local government facilities to purchase electricity from renewable energy sources from providers other than the electric utility.
"Renewable energy has to be an important component of our state's energy supply in order to reduce our dependence on imported fossil fuels," says Lingle. "As the second largest purchaser of electricity in Hawaii, we'd like to see how the state's purchasing power can not only accelerate the use of renewable energy, but also help to reduce or stabilize energy costs."
The governor's office says the state's electric utilities currently rely on oil and other fossil fuels for more than 90% of their generating capacity. Any electricity generated on a site not occupied by the eventual end user must be transmitted over lines owned by the electric utilities. Consequently, the PUC must examine the feasibility of the purchase of green power by state agencies from a provider other than a utility and whether special tariffs must be created for this practice.