Banking on the popularity of solar and clean energy in Hawaii, Sen. Mazie Hirono (D) has introduced and or signed on to a number of solar and renewable energy bills that were introduced into the Senate this week. One that would have a direct impact on Hawaii—moreso than many other states—is The Federal Energy Savings Enhancement Act (S. 1277), which would allow the General Services Administration (GSA) to enter into 30-year renewable energy power purchase agreements (PPA).
Since Hawaii has a lot of federal buildings on its land—on a per capita basis—including military basis, such legislation would allow those buildings and branches of the government to sign long-term energy contracts for clean energy. That would make it easier for them to install solar power, reducing energy costs over the expensive Diesel energy generators most commonly used there.
“While Hawaii leads the way in clean energy goals, we still face the highest energy costs in the nation and are committed to transitioning away from our dependence on fossil fuels and towards clean sources of energy,” Hirono said. “Our island state leads the nation in setting goals to generate electricity from renewable sources—40 percent from renewable electricity by 2030, and just recently, passing legislation that would increase the goal to 100 percent by 2045.”
Her support earned the praise of renewable energy advocates, among them the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). “When it comes to America’s clean energy future, this is an important step forward—one that promises to benefit both the economy and environment,” said SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch. “The Federal Energy Savings Enhancement Act (SB 1277) would allow all federal agencies to enjoy the significant cost benefits currently enjoyed by the U.S. military through the use of long-term PPAs. Sen. Hirono should be applauded for her commitment to improving our environment, while helping to save significant money for American taxpayers. We strongly support this legislation.”
Hirono also introduced The Next Generation Electric Systems Act (S. 1207). That act would help drive electric power grid innovation. The competitive grant program in it would help electric systems in Hawaii and across the country accommodate additional renewable sources, energy storage systems, and distributed generation, according to the office.
Hirono also signed onto the national renewable energy standard bill proposed earlier this week. “The bills I’ve introduced this week will put us on the path to diversifying our energy sources, increasing our energy security, creating a more sustainable future by bringing the private and public sector together to accelerate innovation of our electric power grid, enable federal agencies to save energy, and make it easier for clean energy entrepreneurs and manufacturers to access new markets and opportunities,” she said. “As a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, I’ll continue fighting for investments in the clean energy economy as we transition to a cleaner, more sustainable future.”Tweet