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Policy 2012

 

Act Description Purpose Significance
 Act 99 Requires the Public Utilities Commission, in exercising its authority and duties, to consider the costs and benefits of a diverse fossil fuel portfolio and of maximizing the efficiency of all electric utility assets to lower and stabilize the cost of electricity, without subverting the electric utilities’ obligation to meet renewable portfolio standards. To direct the public utilities commission to consider the need for a diverse portfolio of fossil fuel resources and to maximize the efficiency of utility generation assets to mitigate supply disruptions and cost impacts on electricity ratepayers. Achieving a clean energy economy requires a multi-pronged approach, being aggressive in the development of renewable energy resources, promoting energy efficiency, and minimizing the use and cost of energy generated from fossil fuels.
 Act 151 Extends the repeal date of the energy systems development special fund and periodic evaluation and plan of action requirements of the special fund to 2013 to match that of the environmental response, energy, and food security tax. The environmental response, energy, and food security tax is the main source of funding for the energy systems development special fund. However, the environmental response, energy, and food security tax is repealed in 2015, whereas the energy systems development special fund is repealed in 2012. This measure corrects that oversight by aligning the respective repeal dates. This measure corrects that oversight by aligning the respective repeal dates.
 Act 167 Authorizes the use of photovoltaic systems, biogas, and other small-scale renewable energy systems producing energy solely for use in the agricultural activities of the fee or leasehold owner of property in agricultural districts. The purpose and intent of this measure is to include photovoltaic, biogas, and other small-scale renewable energy systems that produce energy solely for use in the agricultural activities of the fee or leasehold owner of property as bona fide agricultural services and uses that are allowed in agricultural districts, including land with soils classified as overall (master) productivity rating class A or B. Existing state land use laws did not allow farmers to build solar photovoltaic, biogas, and other small-scale renewable energy systems on prime agricultural lands.  Removes barriers to RE project development previously challenged by land use laws.
 Act 193 Amends the Hawaii State Planning Act to include promoting the development of indigenous geothermal energy resources that are located on public trust land as a source of firm power. Requires consultation and public input from the Native Hawaiian community and general public when developing projects with public land trust lands. Renewable energy resources are assets of the public trust but have not been recognized or developed by the State as public trust assets. Renewable resources within the trust include geothermal, tidal, wave, and ocean thermal energy conversion energy resources located on submerged lands. Clarifies that indigenous renewable energy resources located on public trust land should be promoted and developed for the benefit of the beneficiaries of the trust.
 Act 168 Repeals Act 290, Session Laws of Hawaii 1997. Authorizes the Department of Transportation to adopt rules for the registration of, and issuance of license plates for, electric vehicles. Exempts electric vehicles from parking fees under certain conditions. Sunsets June 30, 2020. To encourage the use of electric vehicles by codifying provisions which exempt electric vehicles from most state and county parking meter fees and high occupancy vehicle lane restrictions. Support the development and widespread consumer acceptance of electric vehicles.
 Act 89 Clarifies the electric vehicle parking requirement. Allows an electric vehicle parking space with a charging system to be located anywhere in the parking lot or structure. Prohibits parking spaces designated for electric vehicles from displacing or reducing accessible stalls required by the Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines. Effective January 1, 2013, imposes a warning on any person who parks an unauthorized vehicle in a space designated for electric vehicles. Clarifies the electric vehicle parking space law to require owners and managers of public accommodations with at least one hundred parking stalls to designate some of those stalls as exclusively for electric vehicles and to install an electric vehicle charging station for at least one of those stalls. Support the development and widespread consumer acceptance of electric vehicles.
 Act 55 Authorizes the Public Utilities Commission to allow electric utility companies to recover all power purchase costs that have been approved by the Commission. Reducing the imputed debt obligations of electric utilities can benefit electric utility customers by maximizing the utilities’ ability to negotiate low cost, fixed price renewable energy contracts. The elimination of power purchase agreement-created imputed debt obligations of a utility can lower capital costs for that utility, which helps to mitigate energy costs for consumers through lower rates.
 Act 165 Establishes a regulatory structure for the installation and implementation of an interisland high voltage electric transmission cable system and for the construction of on-island transmission infrastructure. Interconnecting the islands via a high-voltage undersea electric transmission cable system would provide the islands with increased energy security and system efficiencies and enable the islands to provide each other with backup power. Interconnection would enable Hawaii to make better use of its abundant natural renewable energy resources such as wind, solar, and geothermal energy.
 Act 166 Authorizes the Public Utilities Commission to: (1) Develop, adopt, and enforce reliability standards and interconnection requirements; and (2) Contract for the performance of related duties with a party that will serve as the Hawaii electricity reliability administrator. Authorizes the collection of a Hawaii electricity reliability surcharge to be collected by Hawaii’s electric utilities. The implementation of formal reliability standards to govern all segments of the electric power system and to ensure fair and transparent grid access is a critical part of achieving Hawaii’s lofty clean energy requirements. Clear regulatory oversight of the State’s grids will ensure system reliability, resiliency, and accountability.