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Jul 21

The State Energy Office has released their most recent ranking of current clean energy projects that are leading the way in Hawaii's transition away from fossil fuels. As stated on their website: "Energy leaders have been identified based on public information about (a) their projected size, (b) status of permitting, (c) status of power or fuel off-take agreement, and (d) site control. Pertinent data comes from a variety of media including company press releases, company websites, newspaper articles, Internet publications, agency notices, and filings with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission." Here are the Top 10:

1. Honolulu Airport Emergency Power Facility / State Department of Transportation, HECO

2. Green Energy Agricultural Biomass-to-Energy Facility / Green Energy Team, LLC

3. Honua Power Project  / Honua Technologies

4. Hu Honua Bioenergy Facility / Hu Honua Bioenergy, LLC

5. Hawaii BioEnergy Integrated Biorefinery Facility / Hawaii BioEnergy

6. Anahola Solar / Homestead Community Development Corporation, REC Solar, Kauai Island Utility Cooperative

7. Koloa (KRS2) Solar Project / Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, Grove Farm, SolarCity

8. IC Sunshine Solar Project / IC Sunshine, SunEdison, Axio

9. AKP Kau Renewable Fuel Facility / Aina Koa Pono

10. Schofield Generating Station Project / Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc.

There's also a directory where you can search through renewable energy projects in progress.

Apr 09

There's a lot of talk about grid modernization these days. What is a smart grid, and why is it important? We're pleased to introduce Miso Smart to tell you why. Please enjoy "Miso Smart Makes a Speedy Delivery," the first episode of The Supercharged Adventures of the Blue Planeteers.

Mahalo to cartoonist extraordinaire DrewToonz for bringing the Blue Planeteers to life! Do you have ideas for future adventures for our energy superheroes? We'd love to hear them. Send them to

Feb 03

Legislative Hearings


2/4, 2:45pm, Room 225:  SB2934 RELATING TO RENEWABLE ENERGY. Establishes the Hawaii community-based renewable energy program to make the benefits of renewable energy more accessible to a greater number of Hawaii residents.

Read Blue Planet's testimony here.

Submit testimony in support of SB2934 here. Or send testimony directly via email to


2/4, 3:15pm, Room 225: SB2181 RELATING TO RENEWABLE PORTFOLIO STANDARDS. Increases renewable portfolio standards to seventy per cent by 2040 and one hundred per cent by 2050.

Read Blue Planet's testimony here.


2/4, 2:45pm, Room 225: SB 2656 RELATING TO THE MODERNIZATION OF THE HAWAII ELECTRIC SYSTEM. Requires the public utilities commission to adopt rules for improved accessibility to connect to the Hawaii electric system for any person, business, or entity on the Hawaii electric system. Requires the commission to initiate a proceeding no later than July 1, 2014, to discuss upgrades to the Hawaii electric system for anticipated growth of customer generation.

Read Blue Planet's testimony here.


2/4, 2:45pm, Room 225: SB2932 RELATING TO ENERGY STORAGE. Establishes energy storage portfolio standards that will facilitate increased use of renewable energy and reductions of fossil fuel consumption in Hawaii, while maintaining reliable and affordable electric service. Requires the public utilities commission to evaluate the energy storage portfolio standards every five years.

Read Blue Planet's testimony here.

2/4, 3:15pm, Room 225: SB2933 RELATING TO ENERGY STORAGE. Establishes an energy storage tax credit for utility scale renewable energy storage property.

Read Blue Planet's testimony here.

2/4, 8:30am, Room 325: HB2618 RELATING TO ENERGY STORAGE. Authorizes an individual or corporate tax payer to claim a tax credit against the Hawaii State individual or corporate net income tax for each grid-connected energy storage property that is installed and placed in service in the State by the taxpayer during the taxable year after December 31, 2014. Effective July 1, 2014.

Read Blue Planet's testimony here.

2/4, 8:30am, Room 325: HB2619 RELATING TO ENERGY STORAGE. Requires the public utilities commission to establish energy storage portfolio standards. Requires reports by the Public Utilities Commission.

Read Blue Planet's testimony here.


2/4, 3:15pm, Room 225: SB2662 RELATING TO NATURAL RESOURCES BENEATH THE SURFACE OF THE LAND. Requires agreements to purchase geothermal and nonfossil fuel generated electricity to contain provisions that provide independent power producers with compensation for excessive curtailment.


2/6, 3:30pm, Room 225: SB2196 RELATING TO ENERGY.Re-establishes the energy systems development special fund, which was repealed on June 30, 2013. Increases the amount of the environmental response, energy, and food security tax to be deposited into the environmental response revolving fund, energy security special fund, and agricultural development and food security special fund. Extends the repeal of various allocations of the environmental response, energy, and food security tax from June 30, 2015, to June 30, 2030.

Local Industry News

Pacific Business News: Larry Ellison says Lanai can show 'green energy can be economical'

Civil Beat: Lawmakers may let Public Utilities Commission keep more special fund money

Star-Advertiser: Protect ratepayers as HECO evolves

PBN: Honolulu solar PV industry showing mixed signs so far this year

Civil Beat: Is Hawaii afraid to regulate emissions of greenhouse gases?

PBN: EPA says toxic chemicals releases in Hawaii rose in 2012

Blue Planet's 2014 Policy Priorities

Read about Blue Planet's key issues at the legislature this year.

Sep 09

Blue Planet is pleased to announce the first annual Energy Report Card for Hawai‘i. This morning, Blue Planet founder Henk Rogers introduced the report card during his keynote address at the Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit. The data-rich, 42-page progress report provides a wide-angle perspective on Hawai‘i’s energy transformation, taking a look at five key metrics including Transportation, Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy, Smart Grid, and Economics. Supporting drivers are also analyzed to identify gaps in current industry efforts, areas of success, and opportunities for improvement. In the 2013 report card, Hawai‘i receives an overall grade of C–.

Blue Planet developed the report card in response to the need for an objective examination of Hawai‘i’s progress to a clean energy future. The grades were determined as a reflection of the state’s progress toward the benchmark of energy independence by 2030.
Some highlights:

Positive performance in energy efficiency stands out as a bright spot, with per capita electricity generation dropping steadily below the target trend since 2008.

The report card also shows that transportation, which accounts for two-thirds of Hawai‘i’s fossil fuel consumption, remains an area that demands improvement. Land transportation offers the most immediate opportunities for reducing fuel consumption. Greater fuel efficiency, alternative fuels, lowering mileage, and electric vehicles all have roles to play. The key challenge is identifying substitutes for aviation fuels, highlighting the need to focus on local biofuels for transportation rather than electricity generation.

Blue Planet plans to update the Energy Report Card annually to keep progress toward energy independence on track and focus solutions in areas that need it most. We welcome your input to help make next year's report card even better. Questions and comments can be addressed to

Sep 06

News from our friends at The Energy Excelerator... who recently received $30 million from the US Navy to help fund clean tech start-ups!

The Energy Excelerator is a startup program dedicated to helping solve the world’s energy problems, starting in Hawaii. Hawaii has the best economic conditions for launching a clean energy company on the planet. We would like to invite to you apply for up to $1M of non-dilutive funding to bring your energy solution to Hawaii and the Asia Pacific.

Here’s how it works:
1.       Apply today until September 27 at
2.       Begin with a full-immersion week in Hawaii to kick off a 6-month program for seed-stage startups and a 12-month program for growth-stage startups. You do not have to relocate to Honolulu, but you will spend 2 to 6 weeks in Hawaii over the course of the program.
3.       Non-dilutive funding up to $1M cost-reimbursable grants to growth-stage companies for projects in Hawaii or the Asia Pacific and $30K to $100K in fixed-price grants to seed-stage startups to develop and execute their go-to-market strategies.   
4.       Work with a core group of experienced mentors to refine and execute your go-to-market strategy.


To find out more check out the applicant package and visit our website, Please get in touch with us if you have any questions: or on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
We know energy innovation requires an entire community and we would love for you to be a part of ours.
The Energy Excelerator team

The Energy Excelerator is a startup program dedicated to solving the world's energy problems starting in Hawaii. We help innovative companies succeed in Hawaii and the Asia-Pacific region with non-dilutive funding, strategic relationships, and a vibrant ecosystem. The Energy Excelerator is a program of the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research (PICHTR).

Jul 23

DBEDT recently updated their "Top 40" list of renewable energy projects that are currently underway or online. The largest is Kawailoa Wind, a 69 MW wind farm on the North Shore of O‘ahu that will produce enough energy to power 14,500 homes. On the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative website, you can also find Hawai‘i renewable energy projects mapped by island.

Apr 09
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Mar 02

Posted on in Blue Planet Updates
We get this question a lot: "Why don't we just put solar panels on all the rooftops in Hawai‘i? Wouldn't that provide enough electricity for everyone?" Someone just asked again yesterday, so I thought I'd share our answer:

It's a good question. Let's do the first order approximation.

First, how much electricity to we use? According to the DBEDT energy trends, we use about 10 terawatt-hours (TWhs) of electricity annually. In fact, 10125.94 gigawatt-hours (GWhs) in 2009, 10013.10 GWhs in 2010, and about 9985.55 GWhs in 2011. So that's our (hopefully shrinking) target.

Second, how many roofs do we have to cover? Let's just look at residential. According to the 2011 US Census, Hawaii has 519,508 housing units, 39.2% of which are multi-family. So let's just look at the single family units (we'll be more conservative here and more generous elsewhere). So that gives us 315,861 single-family home rooftops. Now let's say for each rooftop we can fit a 4 kilowatt (kW) system. This is probably being a bit generous, given the size and possible shading issues. With all those rooftops tiled with 4 kW of PV each, we have 1,263,443 kWs, or 1263 MWs of PV (which, BTW, approaches the total system capacity on Oahu).

Of course, the sun isn't always shining. In fact, for PV, the "capacity factor" is between 15% and 20%--meaning that at any given moment you will have able to produce between about 15% and 20% of the rated PV capacity. Let's use the generous 20%. For our rooftops this means (20% X 1263) 253 MW of PV capacity. Now we can look at the total production over one year (at the already "de-rated" PV installation). So 253 MW X 8760 hours in a year = 2,213,553 MWhs, or 2,214 GWhs, or 2.2 TWhs. This would provide about 22% of our overall electricity use.

This 22% is probably conservative--we ignored all of the commercial rooftops. Plus we are seeing more and more large ground-mounted PV arrays (usually in 5 MW blocks because that is the largest size before the utility needs to competitively bid). Nonetheless, it reminds us that we need a mix of renewable energy sources. And yes, we hope to shave our 10 TWhs of usage by 30% come 2030 (the HCEI target), but we're also adding a bunch of electric vehicles to the grid (which could just cancel out that efficiency gain--which is fine for the big picture).

By the way, any guess of how much all of that PV would cost? About $10 billion. It would pay for itself in about 13 years.

Don't Feed the Money Monster