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Hawaii Sets 100% Renewable Energy Goal and Opens the Door to Community Solar

Electricity on the island state of Hawaii will come 100% from renewable resources by 2045, pursuant to new legislation.   The plan will end Hawaii’s current reliance on imported fuel oil which Governor Ige has said currently costs $5 billion annually.

Hawaii SolarWind, solar, geothermal and storage technology and distribution improvements will all play important roles.  Hawaii currently produces approximately 21% of its power from renewable energy sources.  Interim benchmarks call for 30% renewable energy by 2020, 40% by 2030, and 70% by 2040. 

Perhaps the most important impact from setting this ambitious goal will be the new orientation it provides to all homeowners, businesses, developers, utilities and regulators.  Decisions large and small over the coming years will all be made with the knowledge of where Hawaii is headed.  Long a high cost state for electricity, the new goal does not include any promises to reduce electric costs.  But the legislation’s champions clearly believe that re-directing the current spending on imported oil toward renewable solutions will create good results for the state.   

A companion bill allows community solar developments in Hawaii for the first time.

© 2021 Foley & Lardner LLPNational Law Review, Volume V, Number 164



About this Author

Thomas Mullooly, Energy Attorney, Foley and Lardner, Renewable project develop
Of Counsel

Thomas Mullooly is an energy lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP. He has in depth experience across all regulatory aspects of the energy industry and provides counsel on contracts, mergers and acquisitions, renewable project development, and state and federal and ISO compliance issues. He has led regulatory proceedings and litigation before FERC and in state commissions across the country. Mr. Mullooly is vice chair of the firm’s Energy Industry Team.

Justus Britt, Solar Energy Project Attorney, Foley Lardner Law Firm

Justus Britt is a business lawyer and special counsel with Foley & Lardner LLP. Mr. Britt focuses on the development and acquisition of solar energy projects. His project development experience includes advising clients on real estate, permitting, and construction matters, including negotiating supply, EPC, and O&M agreements. Mr. Britt’s acquisition experience includes leading due diligence efforts and assisting on stock and asset purchase agreements, as well as joint venture agreements. He is a member of the firm’s Energy Industry Team and the Transactional...