H.B. NO.














relating to energy.





     SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that all Hawaii residents should be able to participate in and enjoy the economic, environmental, and societal benefits of renewable energy.  Spurred by the Hawaii clean energy initiative and increasingly affordable clean energy options, such as solar photovoltaic systems, localized renewable energy generation technology has become increasingly attainable.

     While residential solar energy use has grown dramatically across the State in recent years, many residents and businesses are currently unable to directly participate in renewable energy because of their location, building type, access to the electric utility grid, or other impediments.  The community-based renewable energy program seeks to rectify this inequity by dramatically expanding the market for eligible renewable energy resources to include residential and business renters, occupants of residential and commercial buildings with shaded or improperly oriented roofs, and other groups who are unable to access the benefits of onsite clean energy generation.

     The legislature finds that it is in the public interest to promote broader participation in self-generation by Hawaii residents and businesses through the development of community renewable energy facilities in which participants are entitled to generate electricity and receive credit for that electricity on their utility bills.

     Community-based renewable energy creates new construction jobs, stimulates the economy, reduces emissions of greenhouse gases, promotes energy independence, and assists in meeting the State's clean energy goals.  Further, community-based renewable energy enables residents and businesses to save money on their electricity bills, thereby providing additional funds for other purchasing, investment, or other economic activity.

     While the concept of "wheeling" electricity over utility infrastructure has been the subject of discussion for years, the community-based renewable energy program contemplated in this Act should not be construed as "wheeling" because the tariff or tariffs established by the commission will address the utility costs related to transmission and distribution infrastructure and grid operations.

     The purpose of this Act is to establish the Hawaii community-based renewable energy program to make the benefits of renewable energy more accessible to a greater number of Hawaii residents.

     SECTION 2.  Chapter 269, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

     "§269-     Community-based renewable energy tariffs.  (a)  Upon application by an electric utility or another party, or upon its own motion, the commission shall establish a community-based renewable energy tariff or tariffs.  A community-based renewable energy tariff or tariffs shall take effect no later than January 1, 2016.

     (b)  Any person or entity may propose, own, or operate a community-based renewable energy project or projects; provided that a project or projects equal to or less than one megawatt in size shall be subject to the interconnection processes approved by the commission and a project or projects greater than one megawatt in size shall be subject to the commission's review and approval.

     (c)  An electric utility may develop and implement its own community-based renewable energy project or projects; provided that the project or projects shall be subject to the commission's review and approval.

     (d)  The community-based renewable energy tariff and related interconnection processes shall, to the extent possible, be standardized.

     (e)  For purposes of this section, "community-based renewable energy tariff" means a tariff approved by the commission that:

     (1)  Allows all electric utility customers, irrespective of rate class, to obtain an interest in a portion or portions of an eligible renewable energy project that is providing electricity to the electric utility; and

     (2)  Allows the electric utility to implement a billing arrangement to compensate those customers for the electricity provided to the electric utility.

     (f)  Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit wheeling."

     SECTION 3.  New statutory material is underscored.

     SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect upon its approval.








Report Title:

Renewable Energy; Tariffs



Requires PUC to establish community-based renewable energy tariff or tariffs to take effect by 1/1/16.  Defines community-based renewable energy tariffs.  Provides that projects up to one megawatt are subject to PUC-approved interconnection processes and projects greater than one megawatt are subject to PUC review and approval.




The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.