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Hawaii eyes Lopez firm for clean energy

The State of Hawaii is exploring a possible collaboration with Lopez-led Energy Development Corp. (EDC) as part of Hawaii’s bold energy agenda to achieve 100-percent renewable energy by the year 2045.

“As one of the biggest geothermal companies in the world, EDC could be a possible partner of Hawaii in a future cooperation agreement,” said Luis P. Salaveria, director of the US state’s Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT). The department, which is under the Office of the Governor, oversees the Hawaii State Energy Office, which has embarked on a strategic plan to position Hawaii as a proving ground for clean energy technologies.

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Salaveria visited the Philippines from May 14 to 18 to learn how Hawaii could incorporate geothermal power to reduce the state’s dependency on fossil fuels and increase efficiency measures.

During his Manila visit, Salaveria held a series of meetings with geothermal experts and top officials of EDC, which is acknowledged as a global leader in geothermal energy. However, it is not yet clear exactly how the State of Hawaii will work with EDC.

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The Filipino-American official said the trip   to Manila this month was initiated to gather information to support the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative (HCEI), which is a partnership between the State of Hawaii and the US Department of Energy that was launched in 2008. In 2015, Hawaii passed a landmark legislation to make Hawaii the first state in the nation to set a 100-percent renewable portfolio standard for the electricity sector.

Hawaii was especially interested in gaining a deeper understanding of geothermal energy and how this renewable energy (RE) source could help in achieving HCEI’s goal, Salaveria said. At present, imported oil provides 90 percent of Hawaii’s energy needs.

EDC owns and operates 12 integrated geothermal power projects with an installed capacity of 1,169 megawatts (MW). EDC plans to pursue projects overseas, including opportunities in Latin America and Indonesia.

Studies indicated that Hawaii could hold more than 1,000 MW of geothermal reserves on Maui and Hawaii islands, two of the eight main islands of the State of Hawaii.

While Hawaii has other RE options such as wind and solar, these RE sources are intermittent and cannot be used to run baseload power plants.

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TAGS: Business, economy, EDC, Energy Development Corp., Hawaii, News
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