HAWAII – On July 15 HB 591 became effective without Governor Lingle’s signature. It allows the PUC to set preferential prices for renewable energy from agricultural lands.
The bill states that, “The legislature finds that preferential rates for electrical energy produced in conjunction with agricultural activities, including compensation to agricultural energy producers for their costs and a reasonable return on investment will support the long-term viability of renewable energy produced by agricultural producers.”
The bill further specifies that the public utilities commission will have the authority to establish preferential rates for the purchase of renewable energy produced in conjunction with agricultural activities. Upon receipt of a request for preferential rates and proof that the renewable energy is produced in conjunction with agricultural activities, a public utility must forward the request to the PUC for approval.