Governor Abercrombie’s Statement Regarding Tesoro Hawaii Refinery

Gov. Neil Abercrombie responded to today’s announcement by Tesoro Hawaii that the company will convert its 94,000-barrel per day crude oil refinery to a terminal, effectively ending the facility’s refinery operations. Tesoro Hawaii distributes refined products statewide in the form of gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, ship fuel, asphalt and fuel oil for electrical generation.

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Gov. Abercrombie stated:

“After a good faith effort to continue current refining operations, Tesoro Hawaii has determined that it is in its own best business interests to convert its Hawaii refinery into a terminal facility.

“We have offered to work with Tesoro Hawaii in exploring remaining options and achieving an orderly transition for its employees and the state’s energy needs.

“The 21st Century has arrived when it comes to energy and the importation of oil. The changing petroleum landscape underscores the urgency for the State of Hawaii to move rapidly on meeting our Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative objectives. Essential to our economic recovery is taking control of our state’s energy future. We currently send billions of dollars a year outside of our islands to meet our energy needs.

“This administration is seeking long-term infrastructure investments that ensure our electric grids are stable, reliable and modern enough to integrate all available alternative and renewable energy technologies.”

Off Shore Wind Power in Hawaii a Possibilty in the Near Future

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management held its first offshore renewable energy task force meeting with the state of Hawaii yesterday.

This inter-governmental task force was established to facilitate communication between BOEM and state, local, Native Hawaiian and federal stakeholders concerning renewable energy leasing for research activities and commercial development on federal submerged lands, known as the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), offshore Hawaii.

The task force includes state government officials designated by the governor and officials from relevant federal agencies, as well as local government officials.

“BOEM created this task force at Governor Abercrombie’s request to coordinate and consult with the State of Hawaii and others on potential renewable energy activities on the OCS offshore Hawaii,” said BOEM Director Tommy P. Beaudreau. “Working closely with stakeholders will allow us to identify and address issues relating to future offshore renewable energy leasing and development in a way that is smart from the start and supports Hawaii’s clean energy goals.”

“Hawaii is home to a wide range of natural energy resources and is fast becoming a major test bed for innovative alternative and renewable energy projects,” said Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie. “This inter-governmental task force will encourage development of Hawaii’s offshore alternative energy options to lessen our islands’ dependence on foreign oil, provide a bridge to a fully realized renewable energy future, and allow more clean energy projects – and the quality jobs that come with them – to come to fruition.”

The task force meeting included an overview of existing regulatory processes and discussions on how best to complement Hawaii’s Clean Energy Initiative when considering renewable energy development on the OCS, which starts three-miles from the coast. The initiative established the goal of transforming Hawaii’s energy supply to 70 percent clean energy by 2030.

In April 2009, President Barack Obama and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced the final framework for renewable energy development on the OCS. This framework establishes the process BOEM uses for granting leases, easements and rights-of-way for offshore renewable energy development activities, such as the siting and construction of renewable energy facilities on the OCS. The framework also allows for BOEM to use task forces in carrying out its responsibilities for authorizing OCS renewable energy activities in partnership with state, local and federal agencies and tribal governments.

Elsewhere, BOEM has established renewable energy task forces with Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Better Place, Sheraton Waikiki and Hawaiian Electric Partner on EV Charge Network in Hawaii

Media Release:

Better Place announced today the start of its initial deployment of EV infrastructure in Hawaii, with the launch of a project to incorporate its electric-vehicle infrastructure in Honolulu, in partnership with Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts’ Sheraton Waikiki Resort and Hawaiian Electric Company. The project will start with a small number of charge spots in Waikiki and around Oahu and includes seven electric vehicles. Better Place will manage the charging of the vehicles via a network operations center located in Palo Alto, California.

“Hawaii’s commitment to being a world leader in renewable energy, as demonstrated by the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, aligns very strongly with our mission to help end the world’s reliance on oil,” said Jason Wolf, Vice President of Better Place’s North American Operations. “This project marks the beginning of our initial, pre-commercial infrastructure deployment in Hawaii. It supports the state’s goal of leading the nation in renewable energy use, which Better Place will integrate into the grid via electric cars.”

Better Place was among five clean-energy companies awarded funding from the Hawaii Renewable Energy Development Venture (HREDV), a project of the local nonprofit Pacific International Center for High Technology Research that allocates U.S. Department of Energy funds.

“The role of HREDV is to accelerate commercialization of these clean-tech projects so that private investors and customers can follow with increased confidence,” said HREDV project director Maurice Kaya. “The winning companies showed how their technologies could be game-changers in Hawaii and demonstrated strong technical and management expertise to execute the projects and manage federal funds…”

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Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative