GEMS

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Greater Access to Clean Energy Improvements

The Hawaii Green Infrastructure Authority was created by the Legislature to make clean energy investments accessible and affordable to a broader cross-section of Hawaii’s utility ratepayers, with a portion of its funds to benefit underserved communities, low- and moderate-income households, renters and nonprofits.

The GEMS Program was signed into law on June 27, 2013 through Act 211.  To enable the state to deploy sustainable green financing, Act 211:

  1. Tasked DBEDT to develop and use an innovative financing structure to obtain low-cost capital, and
  2. Created the Hawaii Green Infrastructure Authority (HGIA) and tasked it with the development of a groundbreaking program that provides low-cost capital to finance solar photovoltaic systems and other clean energy improvements for those who may otherwise have difficulty obtaining financing for these projects.  For more information about HGIA and the GEMS Program, visit GEMS Financing Program.

 

The innovative financing mechanism developed by the State of Hawaii employed a tried-and-true bond issuance technique used by utilities across the country, call rate reduction bonds, and modified it to provide low-cost capital to finance clean energy—rather than financing utility stranded assets or storm recovery costs.