For Immediate Release: November 12, 2011

Honolulu – U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Energy Steven Chu, U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye and Governor Neil Abercrombie this afternoon led a roundtable discussion to further the clean energy initiatives between the State of Hawaii and the federal government.

“The Obama Administration and Governor Abercrombie share a commitment to promoting the use of locally-produced, clean renewable energy,” said Secretary Chu. “As we compete in the global marketplace for the clean energy jobs of tomorrow, we need to continue to invest in the technologies that will create jobs here in Hawaii and ensure American companies remain competitive. I look forward to continuing and growing the strong partnership between the Department of Energy and the State of Hawaii.”

About two dozen government and private leaders working on achieving Hawaii’s clean energy goals participated in the roundtable discussion. Subjects ranged from operationalizing of renewable energy, to continued smart grid advancements, biofuel development, and the necessity of an inter-island cable.

“Hawaii is a natural alternative energy test-bed due in large part to the many partnerships we enjoy,” said Senator Inouye. “The U.S. Departments of Energy and Defense are active and valued partners to assist in the rapid deployment of renewable energy technology to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels. We must have the political will to stay the course not just for us but for the next generation. It is time to take our test-bed to the next level.”

Governor Abercrombie added, “The partnership we have with the federal government is a key ingredient in reaching the goals we have as an island state. In reaching these goals, we are not only protecting ourselves from the volatility of outside fossil fuel markets, but are setting standards for the rest of country and the world in the application of clean energy technologies.”

The Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative is a partnership between the state and the U.S. Department of Energy to implement actions to reduce Hawaii’s dependence of fossil fuel oil by 70 percent by 2030.

Secretary Chu is in Honolulu attending the APEC leaders’ week conference. He is charged with helping implement President Obama’s ambitious agenda to invest in clean energy, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, address the global climate crisis and create millions of new jobs. He is a distinguished scientist and the co-winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics (1997). Prior to his appointment, Dr. Chu served as the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Today’s roundtable discussion fostered a stronger relationship in moving Hawaii closer to reaching its renewable energy goals. In closing, Secretary Chu expressed great interest in the State’s current energy initiatives stating, “This is very exciting. Hawaii is the perfect test-bed for us.”

Participants included:

Steven Chu, Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
Daniel K. Inouye, U.S. Senator
Neil Abercrombie, Governor
Brian Schatz, Lt. Governor
Jennifer Sabas – U.S. Senator Inouye Chief of Staff
George Kailiwai – PACOM Director of Resources & Assessment Directorate
Richard Carlin – Office of Naval Research, Head, Sea Warfare & Weapons Department
Ross Roley – Senior Military Analyst, PACOM Energy Office,
Joelle Simonpietre – CMDR, PACOM J81, Innovation & Experimentation Energy Team
Steve Lindenberg – DOE, Senior Advisor, Renewable Energy
Jim Spaeth – DOE, Senior Advisor, Pacific Region Office
Richard Lim – Director, Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism
Tom Quinn – Director, Hawaii Center for Advance Transportation Technologies
Mark Glick – Administrator, Hawaii State Energy Office
MRC Greenwood – University of Hawaii (UH), President
Jim Gaines – UH, Vice President for Research
Rick Rocheleau – UH, Director, Hawaii Natural Energy Institute
Don Thomas – UH, Director, Center for Study of Active Volcanoes
Andy Hashimoto – UH, Former Dean, College of Tropical Agriculture & HR
Hermina Morita – Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, Chair
Mike Champley – Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, Commissioner
Robbie Alm – Hawaiian Electric Company, Executive Vice President
Colton Ching – Hawaiian Electric Company, Vice President, System Operation & Planning
Edward Reinhardt – Maui Electric Company, President
Joel Matsunaga – Hawaii BioEnergy, Chief Operating Officer
Chris Benjamin – Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Co. (Maui)
Darren Kimura – Sopogy, President & Chief Operating Officer
Dan O’Connell – HNU Photonics, Chief Operating Officer
Jim Rekoske – Honeywell, Vice President of Renewable Energy
Barry Mizuno – Puna Geothermal Venture, Consultant
Maurice Kaya – Hawaii Renewable Energy Development Venture, Project Director


For more information, contact:

Donalyn Dela Cruz
Press Secretary
(808) 586-0012