For Immediate Release: April 13, 2012

HONOLULU–Securing Hawaii’s clean energy future and expanding the state’s green economy will be the central theme of Lt. Governor Brian Schatz’s April 14-21 trip to Japan and South Korea.

Building on the momentum of last year’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit, Lt. Governor Schatz will meet with Japanese and South Korean industrial leaders during his seven-day trip to discuss existing clean energy partnerships in Hawaii and ways to bolster those ventures.

“Through our strategic alliances with Japan, Korea and others, Hawaii has become a leading incubator for the global clean energy industry,” said Lt. Governor Schatz.

“It’s important to build on these relationships and move to the next level of deploying utility-scale renewable projects to help Hawaii reach its goal of becoming 70 percent energy independent by 2030.”

Last year, Governor Neil Abercrombie and officials from Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) signed a memorandum of understanding that formalized the $37 million Smart Grid Demonstration Project on the island of Maui.

In February, Governor Abercrombie signed a letter of intent with officials from Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Knowledge Economy (MKE) to pursue a joint smart grid demonstration project in the islands.

In Tokyo, Lt. Governor Schatz will meet with NEDO and Ministry of Economy, Trade & Industry (METI) officials to discuss the Maui Smart Grid and other Hawaii projects. He also will meet with the President of the Japan Red Cross, Tadateru Konoe, and former APEC Ambassador Kurt Tong, who now serves as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Japan.

Executives from Hitachi Ltd. also will brief the Lieutenant Governor on the progress of the Maui Smart Grid project.

In Seoul, Lt. Governor Schatz will meet with MKE officials and executives with Hyundai Motor Co. and LS Cable, one of the world’s foremost undersea cable companies.

The Lieutenant Governor will also travel to Jeju Island off the southern coast of Korea to meet with Korea Smart Grid Institute representatives. The Korean government selected the island for the Jeju Smart Grid Testbed, which is the country’s leading testing site for smart grid technologies.

Lt. Governor Schatz will return to Honolulu on Saturday.


Media Contact:
Rick Daysog
Chief Communications Officer
State Energy Office, DBEDT
(808) 587-9006