For Immediate Release: March 17, 2009

HONOLULU – Governor Linda Lingle announced today that the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) has assigned two senior personnel from its National Renewable Energy Laboratory to assist the State of Hawaii in implementing the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative (HCEI). The HCEI is a partnership between the USDOE and the state that was formed in January 2008 with the goal of having 70 percent of Hawaii’s energy come from clean sources by the year 2030.

“The assignment by the U.S. Department of Energy of senior personnel from its National Renewable Energy Laboratory to assist Hawaii in wind and solar systems integration and transmission and energy efficiency shows the federal government’s continuing commitment to the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative,” said Governor Lingle.

Debra Lew and Paul Norton, who will be based in Hawaii, are senior engineers and project leaders from NREL. Based in Golden, Colorado, NREL is USDOE’s primary laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development.

Lew, who will work with Hawaii’s utilities, brings a wealth of experience relating to the variability and uncertainty of wind and solar power on the electricity grid and its consequent operating and cost impacts. As a senior project leader with the National Wind Technology Center, Lew is leading the Western Wind and Solar Integration Study, the largest wind and solar integration study to date. She also has extensive experience in working with transmission planning groups on the deployment of renewable energy technologies. Lew also was the group manager for NREL’s Environmental and International Group, which focused on deployment of renewable energy technologies in developing countries, and the lead for NREL’s China program, which focused on rural electrification, policies and programs, wind integration, and renewable energy business development.

Norton will work with the Energy Efficiency Branch in the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism’s (DBEDT) State Energy Office. A senior engineer with NREL’s Center for Buildings and Thermal Systems, Norton brings 14 years of research experience focused in residential energy with an emphasis on the design and performance analysis of zero energy homes and communities.

Lew and Norton are the second and third national energy specialists to be assigned to assist Hawaii in implementing its energy independence efforts.

Since October 2006, under an Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) agreement with the USDOE, Bill Parks, deputy director of research and development in USDOE’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability, has been assigned to DBEDT’s Strategic Industries Division. Parks has been instrumental in fostering increased coordination and collaboration between USDOE and Hawaii by and organizing strategic partnerships with the energy industry, federal agencies and private sector organizations.


For more information, contact:

Ted Liu
Director, DBEDT
Phone: (808) 586-2355

Lenny Klompus
Senior Advisor – Communications
Phone: (808) 586-7708

Russell Pang
Chief of Media Relations
Phone: (808) 586-0043