STAND. COM. REP. NO. 957

 

Honolulu, Hawaii

                  

 

RE:    H.B. No. 1273

       H.D. 2

       S.D. 1

 

 

 

Honorable Donna Mercado Kim

President of the Senate

Twenty-Eighth State Legislature

Regular Session of 2015

State of Hawaii

 

Madam:

 

     Your Committees on Agriculture and Energy and Environment, to which was referred H.B. No. 1273, H.D. 2, entitled:

 

"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO RENEWABLE ENERGY,"

 

beg leave to report as follows:

 

     The purpose and intent of this measure is to authorize construction of hydroelectric facilities on agricultural lands; provided that the hydroelectric facilities:

     (1)  Have a hydroelectric generating capacity of not more than five hundred kilowatts;

     (2)  Comply with the state water code, chapter 174C, Hawaii Revised Statutes;

     (3)  Are accessory to agricultural activities; and

     (4)  Do not adversely impact or impede the use of agricultural land or the availability of surface or groundwater for all parcels that are served by the groundwater sources or streams for which hydroelectric facilities are considered.

 

     Your Committees received testimony in support of this measure from the Department of Agriculture, Hawaii Farm Bureau, and one individual.  Your Committees received comments on this measure from the Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism and Land Use Commission.

 

     Your Committees find that the development of hydroelectric energy-generating facilities in Hawaii are vital to the energy security and energy independence of the State.  Your Committees further find that some of the sites that are targeted for the development of hydroelectric energy-generating facilities in Hawaii are located on agricultural lands.  Hawaii's agricultural land is a fundamentally important and diminishing resource that is pivotal to the State's initiatives in food security; therefore, your Committees find that the location, construction, and operation of renewable energy facilities must be considered in a manner that promotes food and energy security.

 

     Your Committees have amended this measure by inserting an effective date of July 1, 2050, to encourage further discussion.

 

     As affirmed by the records of votes of the members of your Committees on Agriculture and Energy and Environment that are attached to this report, your Committees are in accord with the intent and purpose of H.B. No. 1273, H.D. 2, as amended herein, and recommend that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as H.B. No. 1273, H.D. 2, S.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection.

 

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committees on Agriculture and Energy and Environment,

 

________________________________

MIKE GABBARD, Chair

 

________________________________

RUSSELL E. RUDERMAN, Chair