State takes first step towards possible undersea power cable
State of Hawaii News Release
The State of Hawai‘i today issued a request for proposal (RFP) from companies and other interested organizations to conduct an environmental impact statement (EIS) for an undersea power cable connecting the islands of Lāna‘i, Moloka‘i, O‘ahu, and Maui.
The undersea cable, which would connect the islands into one electrical grid to allow the integration of renewable wind power generated in Maui County for transmission to O‘ahu is part of a comprehensive energy agreement signed one year ago between the State of Hawai‘i and Hawaiian Electric companies to move the state away from its dependence on fossil fuels for electricity and ground transportation.
The year-old energy agreement is a critical component of the Hawai‘i Clean Energy Initiative (HCEI), an unprecedented partnership formed in January 2008 between the State of Hawai‘i and the U.S. Department of Energy to work toward having 70 percent of Hawai‘i’s energy come from clean energy sources by 2030.
HCEI is focused on transforming the regulatory environment to facilitate clean energy development, collaborating with island utility companies to increase renewable energy generation and integrating renewable energy into utility grids.
“It has been a remarkable year and we need to continue to build upon HCEI’s success,” said Governor Linda Lingle. “As the most oil-dependent state in the nation, a clean energy future is no longer simply a desire, it is an absolute necessity.”
Robbie Alm, the Executive Vice President of Hawaiian Electric thought that the one year anniversary of the agreement provided a chance to rejuvenate the combined effort.
“This one-year mark is a time for us to recommit to these critical clean energy goals. This achievement – and achievements yet to come – depend on an unprecedented unity of purpose and willingness to cooperate among individuals, businesses, institutions and government in Hawaii,” Alm said.
Interisland Power Cable
As part of the HCEI, Lingle also announced that the state is moving forward with the request for proposals process for an EIS for the interisland power cable project.
The EIS will consider the impacts from the installation, operation, maintenance, possible repair, and potential long term development envisioned for the interisland power cable, mitigation strategies, and alternatives. It is a structured public process enabling the communities and other stakeholders to understand the impact of the undersea cable. Contract award is expected by the end of the calendar year. The EIS does not necessarily mean that a cable will be installed.