Hawaii FIT Agreement

By Paul Gipe


On October 20, 2008 the Governor of Hawaii, Linda Lingle, the Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism, the Division of Consumer Advocacy of the Department of Consumer Affairs, and the Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) signed an agreement to implement a feed-in tariff policy in 2009.

The agreement, say the signatories, is to move the island state away from dependence on imported oil, and toward indigenous renewable resources of which the islands have abundance.

The state and HECO agreed to accelerate the development of renewable resources on all the islands in the Hawaiian chain.

The agreement specifically binds HECO to implement a series of feed-in tariffs to “dramatically accelerate the addition of renewable energy from new sources”. The parties further agreed that the feed-in tariff “should be designed to cover the renewable energy producer’s costs of energy production plus some reasonable profit.”

The agreement commits Hawaii to complete regulatory review by March, 2009 and to implement the resulting feed-in tariffs by July.

If implemented as conceived, Hawaii will have moved further and faster on feed-in tariffs than any other state.