Law sets up undersea cable for Hawaii wind projects
Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie addresses guests at a bill-signing ceremony Wednesday in his office at the Hawaii State Capitol in Honolulu.
Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie on Wednesday signed into law a bill that sets up the regulatory framework for an undersea cable that would transmit electricity between Hawaii’s islands.
Senate Bill 2785, which passed the Legislature on the final day of this year’s session, also sets up the regulatory structure for the construction of the transmission infrastructure on the islands.
The undersea cable was touted as an administration priority during Abercrombie’s state-of-the-state speech in January. It also had been the centerpiece of Hawaiian Electric Co.’s $2.3 billion “Big Wind” project, which proposed piping electricity from wind farms on Molokai and Lanai to the more densely populated Oahu.
The project hit a speed bump last summer after the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission ruled that Hawaiian Electric must rebid half of the project.
HECO’s expected request for proposals for up to 200 megawatts of renewable energy that could include wind, solar or undersea cable projects has drawn the interest of dozens of energy companies.
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