HAWAI‘I STATE ENERGY OFFICE SEEKS INPUT ON PARTNERING OPPORTUNITIES 

HONOLULU —The Hawai‘i State Energy Office is seeking input on federal funding opportunities under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA). The IIJA was signed into law by President Biden on November 15, 2021. The law authorizes $1.2 trillion in infrastructure spending addressing clean energy and power, carbon capture and utilization, clean transportation, resiliency, and more. 

“We have a historic opportunity in front of us to make Hawai‘i more clean energy resilient,” said Scott Glenn, Hawai‘i Chief Energy Officer. “We are looking for insight into potential partners who can help Hawaiʻi put our best foot forward and bring more federal dollars home to diversify our economy, provide more local jobs, help our frontline communities, and drive innovation and investment to address the climate crisis.” 

HSEO is surveying stakeholders in industry, non-governmental organizations, community organizations, and other governmental agencies to gather information that will help identify partnering opportunities and inform HSEO on possible Requests for Interest on competitive IIJA programs. HSEO seeks substantive input for successful IIJA-related partnering opportunities within state and federal rules and regulations. The survey deadline is October 12, 2022. 

Additionally, HSEO has published an IIJA Tracker on its website to provide easy public access to energy-related IIJA programs that are applicable to Hawai‘i. HSEO has identified about 100 potential funding opportunities to date. Users can sort, filter, and download information in the tracker to find opportunities that they may want to pursue.  

Click here to visit the IIJA Tracker 

Click here to take the IIJA Survey 

The tracker and survey are geared only to the IIJA at this time. The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act also has potential funding opportunities for competitive grants and HSEO will provide details as they become available.  

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STATEMENT FROM HAWAII CHIEF ENERGY OFFICER SCOTT GLENN

Honolulu – In support of Gov. David Ige’s statement on today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the W. Virginia v EPA case, Scott Glenn, Hawai‘i Chief Energy Officer, said: 

“Hawai‘i is making strong progress towards our state’s climate and clean energy goals and this decision doesn’t change our commitment or trajectory. In Hawai‘i, eliminating our dependence on fossil fuels is about strengthening our islands’ self-sufficiency, energy resilience and security, and doing our part to fight climate change. To that end, we are continuing to reduce emissions by decommissioning the last coal plant in Hawaii this September and transitioning to clean, renewable energy. Continuing along this path of retiring other fossil fuel power plants lessens the need to rely on the EPA’s ability to regulate emissions in the first place.” 

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HAWAI‘I STATE ENERGY OFFICE UNVEILS NEW LOGO AND WEBSITE

HONOLULU — The Hawai‘i State Energy Office today unveiled a new logo and website that reflect the agency’s increasing role in achieving Hawai‘i’s clean energy goals.

The rebranding initiative follows the Legislature’s restructuring of the agency in 2019 that elevated the State Energy Office to have a stronger and more direct voice in state energy policy led by a governor-appointed, senate-confirmed chief energy officer.

“HSEO plays a very important role in developing and implementing state energy policy,” explains Scott Glenn, Hawai‘i Chief Energy Officer. “It is important for us, as a state agency, to honor the role that energy has played within the Hawaiian cultural value system, which has long respected nature’s life-giving and life-sustaining energy. Beginning with land rising from the ocean, to where life flourishes in concert with the sky, the logo depicts the natural and renewable flow of energy that is so much a part of our daily lives.”

In addition, Glenn added the following symbolism associated with the new logo:

The minimalism of the design calls us to conserve energy, as energy efficiency is the most important step we can take to achieve a resilient, clean energy economy.

The blocks symbolize the archipelago of Hawaiʻi. Each island stands alone as an electricity grid, yet interdependent for our overall energy system and livelihood. The Hawaiʻi State Energy Office name is paired with the three blocks, reminiscent of an outrigger to provide guidance and resilience in navigating to Hawaiʻi’s renewable energy future.

The top block symbolizes the morning sun, the bright future and hope. The color matches the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 – Affordable and Clean Energy to show Hawaiʻi’s alignment with the world as well as Hawaiʻi’s global leadership on clean energy.

The middle block symbolizes energy from the earth and life, the vitality of the islands, and our call to be better stewards of our home. The pali is a distinguishing feature of Hawaiʻi, found throughout the islands. While reminiscent of Diamond Head (Lē’ahi) to those passingly familiar with Hawaiʻi, it is not Diamond Head specifically. This is a way to communicate to those outside of Hawaiʻi that this logo is a Hawaiʻi one while not favoring any one island over another.

The bottom block symbolizes the constant flow of energy from the water and wind, and the ocean as the foundation of existence in Hawaiian ʻike.

The blocks also acknowledge the climate crisis and the resulting challenges Hawaiʻi faces with sea level rise, storms, flooding, and hotter days.

The new website (https://energy.hawaii.gov) is designed to make information easier to find and provides a strong platform for new interactive features that will be implemented in the coming weeks to enhance data availability and community engagement.

The logo and website were designed and built by Essense Partners with funding through a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

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HAWAI‘I COMPANY RECEIVES FEDERAL GRANT TO HELP MODERNIZE SCHOOL BUS FLEET

HONOLULU — Hawai‘i is among the states with recipients of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) 2021 Diesel Emissions Reduction Action (DERA) School Bus Rebates.

Roberts Hawaii has been awarded $200,000 in the latest round of funding for the long-standing DERA School Bus Rebates program that helps fund the replacement of older-model diesel school buses with cleaner models that meet or exceed current emission standards.

The funding announcement of ongoing school bus rebate opportunities was coupled with the announcement of a new Clean School Bus rebate program through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that will be available later this year. The new program will provide an additional $5 billion over five years to replace existing school buses nationwide with low- or zero-emission school buses — a significant boost compared to the existing programs.

“I am proud that the Biden administration is helping our keiki travel to and from school in buses that will be safer and healthier for them while moving Hawai‘i closer to our goal of ending reliance on fossil-fuels by 2045,” said Governor David Y. Ige.

The DERA grant will go towards the purchase of ten new, more efficient buses serving Hawai‘i Department of Education routes on Maui and Hawai‘i Island.

“We take pride in our responsibility to transport children to their schools, and the DERA School Bus Rebate plays an important role in ensuring that we can continuously provide high quality service and modern school buses to the community,” said Randy Baldemor, executive vice president, Roberts Hawaii.

The DERA award for Roberts Hawaii is part of $17 million in federal funding for schools and bus fleet owners across the United States to replace older diesel school buses. Since 2021, EPA has awarded — or is in the process of awarding — over $73 million to replace more than 3,000 diesel school buses nationwide.

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STATEMENT FROM CHIEF ENERGY OFFICER SCOTT GLENN

HONOLULU — Hawai‘i Chief Energy Officer Scott Glenn today issued the following statement:

“We strongly support Par Pacific Holdings, Inc.’s decision to suspend purchasing any more Russian crude oil for Hawai‘i. The Hawai‘i State Energy Office has been in close contact with Par and other state and industry partners ever since tensions between Russia and Ukraine arose to assure energy supply for Hawai‘i would not be disrupted.

“While we do not anticipate any supply concerns, HSEO reminds residents that energy prices are likely to remain high and perhaps go even higher due to uncertainty in the global energy markets.

This market exposure underscores why Hawai‘i is focused on transitioning as quickly as it can to locally produced renewable energy.”

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HAWAI‘I TO RECEIVE MORE THAN $17 MILLION IN FEDERAL FUNDS TO SUPPORT ELECTRIC VEHICLE CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE

The U.S. Departments of Transportation and Energy have announced the new National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula Program that will provide more than $17 million in Hawai‘i over the next five years to fund electric vehicle charging stations statewide.   

“Hawaii has some of the most aggressive clean energy and carbon reduction goals in the nation,” said Hawai‘i Chief Energy Officer Scott Glenn. “We appreciate the federal government’s recognition that we need to move swiftly to build the infrastructure needed to support the adoption of clean transportation in Hawaii which will help us achieve our carbon net-negative goal as soon as practicable and no later than 2045.”   

Nationally, the program enacted through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act makes available nearly $5 billion over five years help states create a network of electric vehicle charging stations along designated Alternative Fuel Corridors in Hawai‘i and nationwide. 

 “The Hawai‘i Department of Transportation and Hawai‘i State Energy Office have worked collaboratively for many years to achieve federally designated Alternative Fuel Corridors on all islands,” said Ed Sniffen, Hawai‘i Department of Transportation Deputy Director for Highways. “Just as our national partners are working together to make these funds available, HDOT and HSEO will be working together with our state and county partners to submit an EV Infrastructure Deployment Plan which is required to access these funds.” 

The total amount available to states in the first year beginning with fiscal year 2022 is $615 million, of which Hawai‘i is slated to receive approximately $2.62 million per the government’s funding formula. A second, competitive grant program designed to further increase EV charging access in locations throughout the country, including in rural and underserved communities, will be announced later this year. For more information on the federal program and the newly formed U.S. Joint Office of Energy Transportation, please visit driveelectric.gov.  

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ANNUAL HAWAI‘I GREEN BUSINESS AWARDS PROGRAM HONORS HAWAII BUSINESSES AND EVENTS FOR GREEN PRACTICES

HONOLULU — A total of 14 venues and events were recognized today for undertaking energy efficiency and sustainable business practices that will help their bottom line while advancing Hawai‘i’s clean energy and sustainability goals.

Gov. David Ige and first lady Dawn Amano-Ige praised the awardees for their commitment to conserving energy and water, reducing waste, and protecting Hawai‘i’s environment. “It is an honor to present these awards that recognize the commitment and hard work done by businesses and organizations to make Hawaii more sustainable,” said Ige. “Not only do their achievements keep utility costs down and create a more sustainable environment for them individually as businesses, they also are collectively contributing to Hawaii’s clean energy goals.”

“It is important that we all work together to build a clean and sustainable Hawai‘i, not only for us on this forum, but for future generations. The Hawai‘i Green Business Program is one aspect of this important effort in achieving our goals,” added Amano-Ige.

The awardees were recognized during the annual HGBP awards ceremony, which was held virtually for the second time due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The ceremony was hosted by the Hawai‘i State Energy Office, the Hawaii State Department of Health, and the Honolulu Board of Water Supply. The HGBP, which was created by the Hawai‘i State Energy Office and the Department of Health in 2002, provides technical assistance to businesses, government agencies and nonprofits seeking to operate in a more environmentally and socially responsible manner.

“As we enter into the third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, we remain acutely aware of how vulnerable Hawai‘i is to things like volatile fuel and electricity prices, energy supply disruptions, rising sea levels and threats to our fragile ecosystem,” said Hawai‘i Chief Energy Officer Scott Glenn. “The Hawai‘i Green Business Program helps address these issues by creating a profitable public-private partnership between business, government and a concerned public.”

The honorees of this year’s Hawai‘i Green Business Program Awards are:

  • Kings’ Land by Hilton Grand Vacations
  • Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort
  • Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort
  • OHANA Waikiki East by Outrigger
  • Waikiki Malia by Outrigger
  • Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger
  • The Westin Nanea Ocean Villas
  • The Volcano House
  • Prince Waikiki
  • The Hawai‘i Convention Center
  • University of Hawai‘i, Maui College
  • Honeywell
  • 2021 Sony Open
  • 2021 Sentry Tournament of Champions

The businesses and events honored at this year’s HGBP awards ceremony undertook a wide array of green initiatives that included planting native and endemic plants to reduce the need for excessive irrigation, using low-flow faucets and shower heads to reduce water consumption, installing LED lights and solar panels, recycling paper and food scraps, and implementing incentives to encourage employees to commute by bike.

For more information on the Hawaii Green Business Program, visit greenbusiness.hawaii.gov/ 

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STATEMENT FROM CHIEF ENERGY OFFICER SCOTT GLENN ON NEW GHG VEHICLE EMISSIONS STANDARDS

Honolulu — Hawai‘i Chief Energy Officer Scott Glenn issued the following statement in response to the announcement earlier today formalizing the federal government’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions standards for passenger cars and light trucks for Model Years  2023-2026:

“We strongly support the Biden administration’s new federal rules to help reduce air pollution from passenger cars and light-duty trucks beginning with the 2023 model year. With roughly 1 million registered passenger vehicles in Hawai‘i, the state has set an aggressive goal to transition to 100% zero-emission vehicles sales by 2035 and this rule is an important step in that direction, as these vehicles will be on the road for years to come. The new rules will help protect public health by reducing emissions that degrade air quality and cause climate change. Plus, increasing fuel efficiency will help residents save money at the pump as we transition to 100% clean transportation by 2045.”

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HSEO EXPANDS FOCUS ON CLEAN TRANSPORTATION WITH ADDITION OF VEHICLE MILES TRAVELED/ACTIVE TRANSPORTATION SPECIALIST

HONOLULU — The Hawai‘i State Energy Office announced today that Kiana Otsuka has joined HSEO as the Vehicle Miles Traveled/Active Transportation Specialist. Otsuka will focus on the development and implementation of strategies to reduce vehicle miles traveled (VMT) through mode-shift, active transportation, and other associated means.

“A key way to change to clean energy and reduce emissions is to avoid using energy in the first place, like we do with buildings and turning off the lights. The same goes for clean transportation,” said Scott Glenn, chief energy officer. “Kiana will be working with communities to help save energy by doing more walking, biking, and using public transportation as well as helping the state shift to more EVs.”

The position is funded through a two-year grant from the U.S. Climate Alliance and was created in collaboration with the State Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission. The VMT specialist is also responsible for helping to initiate and guide the work in the multi-modal mobility hub proposal that is funded in part through a grant from the O‘ahuMPO Overall Work Program to assess State parking facilities for additional clean mobility options that maximize public benefit.

“Kiana’s diverse experience in community engagement, analysis, and transportation planning here in Hawai‘i adds further depth and knowledge to our team to tackle clean transportation comprehensively,” added Chris Yunker, managing director, resiliency, clean transportation, and analytics.

Otsuka joins HSEO from the O‘ahu Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) where she worked as a Transportation Planner and served as the MPO’s representative for the Department of Health’s Transportation Equity Steering Committee, State Climate Change Social Vulnerability Framework Hui, State Climate Change Commission’s VMT Project, Mayor’s Advisory Committee on Bicycling, Transportation Equity Hui, and other active transportation and VMT reduction activities. She also worked as a public policy and research analyst in London, England.

Otsuka holds a master’s degree in Regional and Urban Planning Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science in the U.K. and an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA. An O‘ahu native, she is active in several community organizations including Malama Maunalua and the Surfrider Foundation.

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About the Hawaii State Energy Office

The Hawaii State Energy Office (HSEO) is an attached agency of the state’s Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. The HSEO’s mission is to promote energy efficiency, renewable energy, and clean transportation to help achieve a resilient, clean energy, decarbonized economy. Toward this end, the HSEO is developing policies and programs to achieve our energy and climate change goals while identifying strategies that create jobs, lower costs, and improve quality of life in Hawaii. For more information, visit energy.hawaii.gov

MEDIA CONTACT:
Claudia Rapkoch
Public Affairs Officer
Hawaiʻi State Energy Office
(808) 460-5998
[email protected]

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