Projects will boost reliability and support utility’s goal of reaching 100% renewable energy with in 10 years

LIHUE, Hawai‘i – The U.S. Department of Energy today announced two technology demonstration projects proposed by the Hawai‘i State Energy Office (HSEO) in partnership with Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) will receive more than $17.9 million in funding through the Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships (GRIP) Program. 

Both projects leverage existing power generation equipment with new technology to expand dispatchable renewable energy and support reliable island grid operation among other benefits. Together these solutions will enable KIUC to achieve its goal of 100% renewable energy within the next 10 years. 

“Kaua‘i is proving that transitioning to locally produced renewable energy alleviates the energy burden for families and businesses by reducing extreme price volatility,” said Governor Josh Green, M.D. “We are grateful to the Biden Administration for supporting these projects, which we believe will showcase how these technologies can achieve similar benefits on other islands.”  

“HSEO is excited to be working with KIUC to implement these innovative solutions to bring solar grid forming and synchronous condenser conversion technologies to Hawai‘i,” said Hawai‘i Chief Energy Officer Mark B. Glick. “These projects will provide significant community benefits by adding value to existing renewable resources, providing opportunities for additional renewables, reducing the frequency and impact of power disruptions, and further decarbonizing the grid by reducing fossil generation.” 

“At 60% renewable generation, KIUC’s transition has not only resulted in significant greenhouse gas reductions, it has also saved our members millions of dollars over the past few years through stabilized electricity rates that are no longer vulnerable to spikes in oil pricing,” said KIUC’s President and Chief Executive Officer, David Bissell. 

The projects are scheduled to begin in early 2024 with an estimated completion date in mid-2025.  

About the projects: 

The Utility Solar Grid Forming Technology (USGFT) and Synchronous Condenser Conversion Technology (SCCT) demonstration projects will be funded in part through the Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnerships (GRIP) Grid Innovation Program of the Grid Deployment Office, Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations.  

Utility Solar Grid Forming Technology  

The GRIP program will provide half of the total cost-shared project estimated at $32.5 million, with KIUC contributing the other half of the total project cost. 

The USFGT project involves an innovative technology application that demonstrates a technological solution for expanded renewables dispatch and reliable island grid operation. The project adds battery storage and advanced grid forming inverters to two existing solar power plants. This will create a hybrid power supply with enhanced dispatchability, greater resource availability, and will provide important ancillary services including frequency regulation, reactive power and voltage control, and operating reserves. The grid regulation service will provide significant regional and community benefit by furthering the capability of the system to accommodate 100% dispatch of renewable generation sources and provide a more reliable and resilient island grid. 

Click here to read the U.S. Department of Energy’s Grid Deployment Office fact sheet on the project. 

Synchronous Condenser Conversion Technology  

The GRIP program will provide half of the cost-shared project of $3.35 million, with KIUC contributing of the remaining half of the total project cost.  

This innovative project adds grid-forming capability to an existing generator at the Port Allen power station to accommodate stable operation of high penetration distributed variable renewable generation on the Kaua‘i electric grid. The project will provide significant regional and community benefits by reducing the likelihood and consequence of disruptive events to the grid, and provide a reference case for duplication of the conversion technology by others. This novel use of grid-forming technology in a grid of this size will demonstrate a replicable solution for local, regional, and interregional grid enhancement and decarbonization. 

Click here to read the U.S. Department of Energy’s Grid Deployment Office fact sheet on the project.   

The Kaua‘i projects and a previously announced award to Hawaiian Electric are among the recipients of the largest-ever investment in America’s energy grid announced today.

Click here to read the U.S. Department of Energy announcement of more than $3.5 billion in awards across 44 states.    



Buses include the manufacturer’s first tour/charter EV motorcoaches in the country and adds to the EV school bus fleet on O‘ahu.

HONOLULU —  On July 20th, 2023 the Hawai‘i State Energy Office, the Hawai‘i Department of Health and Roberts Hawai‘i, Inc. debuted five new zero-emission electric-battery buses that will provide clean transportation for tourists and keiki on O‘ahu.

The buses were purchased with assistance from the Diesel Replacement Rebate (DRR) program. Funded by the Volkswagen Environmental Mitigation Trust and the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act, the DRR provides rebates of up to 45 percent of the total purchase amount to replace medium- and heavy-duty diesel vehicles and equipment with new battery electric or hydrogen equivalents. The rebate also covers up to 45% of an EV charger per electric vehicle.

“We are absolutely committed to pursuing climate change strategies that are equitable, culturally responsive and resilient,” said Governor Josh Green, M.D. “Renewable energy and sustainable transportation are going to be a huge part of our future, so we need to build on progress we have already made, with more events like today. I want to thank all the partners gathered here for their leadership and hard work toward our clean energy goals,” Governor Green said.

“Hawai‘i’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at a rate greater than it produces no later than 2045 requires a significant change to how we get around,” said Hawai‘i State Chief Energy Officer Mark B. Glick. “Transportation is the leading source of greenhouse gas emissions by replacing older diesel vehicles with zero-emission alternatives helps to provide progress toward these goals.”

The DRR program is one of many activities the state is taking to achieve its renewable energy and decarbonization goals. Administered by the Hawai‘i State Energy Office in partnership with the Hawai‘i Department of Health (DOH), and United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the program has allocated approximately $3.2 million in rebates to help offset the purchase of eight vehicles – seven buses and one forklift. The five buses recently dedicated were purchased during the first year of the DRR program in 2022 and arrived in recent weeks. The other vehicles are expected to be purchased through the second year of the rebate program now underway.

“The Department of Health is excited to continue our partnership with the EPA and HSEO in support of the Diesel Replacement Rebate program, modernizing Hawai‘i’s vehicles by replacing older diesel vehicles with battery-electric equivalents, supporting Hawai‘i’s climate change goals, and reducing harmful diesel engine emissions to protect public health,” said DOH Clean Air Branch Program Manager Marianne Rossio.

The rebate program provides state businesses and entities with an important tool to reduce barriers to adopting zero-emissions alternatives that in turn benefit their customers and communities.

“Roberts Hawaiʻi appreciates the Hawaiʻi State Energy Office and the Hawaiʻi Department of Health’s support through rebate assistance. While we are striving to adapt by providing zero-emission transportation options, this transformation involves new technology and it requires major upgrades to properties and, as such, the cost of electric buses, associated infrastructure, and workforce training is high.  A shared public-private cost model is necessary, and we must work together to meet the state’s 2045 zero-emission target and to protect Hawaiʻi’s environment for future generations, said Roy Pfund, President and CEO of Robert’s Hawai‘i.”



HONOLULU – Join HSEO in attendance to the 20th Anniversary of the Hawai‘i Energy Policy Forum on January 12th from 8 a.m – 5 p.m in the Campus Center Ballroom at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. The Hawai‘i Climate Commission, Pacific Rise, Pacific Islands Climate Adaptation Science Center and others are coming together to give the community of Hawai‘i a chance to learn more about Hawaiʻi’s pathway towards 100% renewable energy and net-negative carbon emissions by 2045.

Hosted by the Hawai‘i Natural Energy Institute and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, this forum involves numerous representatives from fuel suppliers, electric utilities, renewable energy industry, environmental and community groups, academia, as well as federal, state and local government. Together, they will share ideas and information, recommend and advocate for policies and initiatives, and promote civic action to achieve a clean and sustainable future for Hawai‘i. 

To register, visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/hawaii-energy-policy-forum-20th-anniversary-legislative-briefing-tickets-474363833997

For the agenda and more information, visit: 2023 LEGISLATIVE BRIEFING – Hawai’i Energy Policy Forum (hawaii.edu)

For general information about Climate Week, visit: Climate Change Portal | Hawaii Climate Week 2023


HONOLULU — The United States Department of Energy (DOE) has encouraged the Hawai‘i State Energy Office and its consortium of partners across government, community, industry, and academia to submit a Full Application for the Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub (H2Hub) program.  

The consortium concept paper details the potential for an integrated Hawai‘i Pacific Hydrogen Hub that aligns multiple existing, in-development, and proposed new hydrogen production pathways to deploy hydrogen across all sectors of Hawai‘i’s energy ecosystem and economy over the next decade.   

“Hawai‘i’ has long supported the development of clean hydrogen and we believe this proposal has significant economic and strategic value to Hawai‘i’ and the entire Indo-Pacific region,” said Chris Sadayasu, Director, Business, Economic Development, and Tourism. “Strengthening our energy security is fundamental to enhancing our food, transportation, housing, and national security. We are thrilled that the DOE has chosen this Hawai‘i-based proposal to advance to the next round of this very competitive process.” 

The DOE has encouraged applications from 33 entities to establish 6-10 regional clean hydrogen hubs nationwide to create a network of hydrogen producers, consumers, and connective infrastructure to accelerate the use of clean hydrogen across the economy. Winning proposals will receive as much as $1 billion to implement their strategies.  

The initial consortium included 21 contributing organizations, most located in Hawai‘i. While some specific details of the proposal may remain confidential through the highly competitive application process, all consortium participants are committed to working together with communities to develop the components of the H2Hub. The Hub will incorporate proactive workforce development, labor engagement, diversity, equity, inclusion, an accessibility strategy and implementation plan and Community Benefits Plan. 

The deadline for submitting the application is April 7, 2023.


HONOLULU — The Hawai‘i State Energy Office and a consortium of partners across government, community, industry, and academia have submitted an integrated Hawai‘i Pacific Hydrogen Hub concept proposal to the US Department of Energy’s Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub (H2Hub) program.    

As part of the $8 billion hydrogen hub program funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the US DOE is seeking proposals to establish as many as ten regional clean hydrogen hubs across the country. The hubs are intended to create networks of hydrogen producers, consumers, and connective infrastructure to accelerate the use of clean hydrogen across the economy. 

“Hawaiʻi is best positioned to demonstrate a Pacific H2Hub to convert our abundant renewable resources of sun, earth, water, wind, and agriculture into locally produced fuels for transportation, storage, grid security, fertilizer, and maritime trade,” Governor David Y. Ige said in support of the proposal. “Our state laws have supported clean hydrogen for two decades. A Hawaiʻi Pacific H2Hub supports local, national, and regional security with a pathway for Indo-Pacific integration.” 

The integrated Hawai‘i Pacific Hydrogen Hub aligns multiple existing, in-development, and proposed hydrogen production pathways that leverage existing energy infrastructure while developing new hydrogen infrastructure, to deploy hydrogen across all sectors of Hawaii’s energy ecosystem and economy over the next decade.   

“This is an important opportunity for Hawai‘i moving toward a clean energy economy. The consortium includes almost two dozen participants ranging from industry leaders to frontline communities, which demonstrates the widespread local support for increasing community resilience and economic prosperity by strengthening local energy systems and reducing reliance on imports,” added Hawai‘i State Chief Energy Officer, Scott Glenn. “The collaboration with partners representing every step in the energy infrastructure supply chain supports the generation of locally produced fuels for transportation, stored energy for utility grid security, and fertilizer for food and agricultural production.” 

The Hawai‘i Pacific Hydrogen Hub proposal also contributes a critical component to national security objectives in the region.  

“Establishing this capability in Hawai‘i further leverages the national hydrogen network into the Asia-Pacific region and supports the national and energy security objectives of the U.S. and its key regional allies,” added Major General John F. Wharton (USA-Ret) now CEO of the Global Connective Center.   

The proposal includes community collaboration and the development and coordination of a carefully crafted community benefits plan grounded in a Native Hawaiian framework to ensure at least 40% of federal H2Hub clean energy investments flow to disadvantaged communities resulting in sustainable living wages and careers in long-term industries that will increase household incomes and stimulate Hawaii’s economy. All of the consortium participants are committed to working together with communities to develop the components of the H2Hub that incorporate proactive workforce development, labor engagement, diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility strategy and implementation plan and a Community Benefits Plan relevant to each phase of the overall project. 

The consortium includes 21 contributing organizations to the 20-page concept paper filed today, most of them located in Hawai‘i.  

“DOE funding will help Hawai’i to become the first decarbonized state in the country, and a model for other communities around the world to replicate,” said Lex Heslin, a consortium member and CEO of Enso Infrastructure, a hydrogen project developer and finance company. 

“Dibshawaii and its association of local businesses and not for profit partners are thrilled to participate, demonstrate, and showcase the capabilities and consistency of our island community partners to innovate and deploy best in class technologies in the emerging industry and the growth of a Hawai‘i Pacific H2Hub.  We will be focusing on a carbon negative energy platform to educate, train, and develop people and places in the most vulnerable and diverse communities to transition to a clean and renewable energy future,” said Keoni Ford, President,  Dibshawaii, LLC. 

“Cyrq Energy, a geothermal focused, renewable energy developer, owner, and operator is pleased to contribute to and support HSEO’s effort to create a Hawai‘i Pacific hydrogen hub,” said Matt Rosenfeld, General Manager, Cyrq Energy. 

“As the only utility gas company in the nation currently blending hydrogen and renewable natural gas in our main utility fuel mix, Hawaiʻi Gas is eager to join with other local companies and organizations to help our state become one of the nation’s Regional Clean Energy Hubs,” said Kevin Nishimura, VP of Operations for Hawai’i Gas. 

“We are happy to partner with the State of Hawai‘i and other leaders in creating a cleaner energy future for our island home,” said Eric Wright, President Par Hawai‘i. 

“174 Power Global is excited for the opportunity to partner with the state of Hawai’i on this very important endeavor to start to fuel Hawai’i’s energy independence with hydrogen.” Larry Greene, VP of Development 

The Hawai‘i Pacific Hydrogen Hub concept paper is pending review and acceptance by the US Department of Energy. If the DOE acknowledges formal interest in the proposal, the consortium will submit a formal application for funding under the program in 2023.  


About the Hawaiʻi State Energy Office 

The Hawaiʻi 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. HSEO is committed to developing and deploying high-impact solutions that will maximize Hawai‘i’s renewable energy resources and improve efficiency and transportation standards. Through effective policies and innovative programs, HSEO is positioning Hawai‘i as a leader in clean energy innovation, which will generate quality jobs, attract investment opportunities, and accelerate economic growth. For more information, visit energy.hawaii.gov.   


Claudia Rapkoch 

Public Affairs Officer 

Hawaiʻi State Energy Office 

(808) 460-5998 

[email protected]  


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.  



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.” 



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.



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.



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.”