Honolulu, Hawaii



RE:    H.B. No. 2150

       H.D. 2




Honorable Shan S. Tsutsui

President of the Senate

Twenty-Sixth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2012

State of Hawaii




     Your Committee on Agriculture, to which was referred H.B. No. 2150, H.D. 2, entitled:




begs leave to report as follows:


     The purpose and intent of this measure is to authorize 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.


     Your Committee received testimony in support of this measure from Kamehameha Schools and the Hawaii Aquaculture and Aquaponics Association.  Your Committee received comments on this measure from the Department of Agriculture.


     Your Committee finds that this measure will help individual farmers and landowners to reduce the electrical cost of running pumps and processing operations while providing electrical service in locations where a conventional electrical hookup is not possible.  Your Committee further finds that clean energy that assists in the operations of local farms and agricultural projects serves a dual purpose of providing food and energy self-sufficiency for the State of Hawaii.


     Your Committee recognizes that this measure proposes to amend section 205-2(d)(7), Hawaii Revised Statutes (HRS), to include photovoltaic and biogas systems as allowable uses supporting bona fide agricultural services in agricultural districts.  This measure also proposes to amend section 205-4.5(a)(10), HRS, to allow photovoltaic and biogas systems specifically on soil classified as productivity rating class A or B.  Currently, section 205-2(d)(6), HRS, allows solar energy facilities to exist in agricultural districts subject to several restrictions while section 205-4.5(a)(19), HRS, permits solar energy facilities on soil classified as productivity rating class B, subject to certain conditions, but expressly disallows solar energy facilities on soil classified with as productivity rating class A.  Your Committee is aware that sections 205-2 and 205-4.5, HRS, do not contain a definition of the term "solar energy facilities".  As such, your Committee suggests that as this measure progresses through the legislative process, further discussion and clarification occur to ensure that solar energy facilities are not considered to be photovoltaic systems for purposes of this measure.


     As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Agriculture that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 2150, H.D. 2, and recommends that it pass Second Reading and be referred to the Committees on Energy and Environment and Water, Land, and Housing.


Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Agriculture,