Hawaii Ranked Third in On-Farm Renewable Energy Production

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Agricultural Statistics Service Hawaii Field Office (NASS), Hawaii ranked third highest in the nation in terms of the number of farms and ranches producing on-farm renewable energy. With a total of 8,569 farms nationally reporting solar panels, wind turbines, and/or methane digesters, Hawaii’s 522 reporting farms came in third behind Texas and California. Hawaii farms producing renewable energy saved an average of $2,125 on their 2009 utility bills, the 11th highest in the nation but slightly less than the national average of $2,406.

Hawaii ranked second in the nation in terms of number of solar panels located on farms and third in terms of number of farms with either photovoltaic and/or thermal solar panels. Of the reported 7,477 solar panels on farms throughout the State, 56 percent were installed between 2005 and 2009.

Hawaii ranked seventh in terms of number of small wind turbines producing energy on farms, turbines rated at a 1-100kw. Forty-three farms reported a total of 67 turbines, 42 percent which were installed over the last five years between 2005 and 2009.

State lays groundwork for more clean energy

HONOLULU – The goal of breaking Hawaii’s addiction to shipped-in oil first took vague shape during a ceremony in the governor’s executive chambers, with lofty speeches and frequent applause but few specifics.

The ceremony featured a broadly worded deal between the state and federal government to work together toward a so-called clean energy future. The agreement lacked details or the force of law, and it seemed to have all the substance of a government report destined to gather dust.

Almost three years later, however, the initiative launched in the Governor’s Office that day has helped support dozens of energy programs that have laid the groundwork for the nation’s most oil-dependent state to potentially become its most energy self-sufficient.

It will take at least a few more years before a major influx of renewable energy puts a dent in Hawaii’s heavy oil usage, but the state is making visible progress.

Tall wind turbines are sprouting across the islands. Residents and businesses will soon be able to sell homegrown solar power back to the grid. Charging stations for incoming electric cars are being built – by law, at least one per 100-space parking lot by the end of next year.

Hawaii rural companies get fed clean energy grants

HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii businesses are receiving federal money to help increase renewable energy production.

Hawaii Director for Rural Development Chris Kanazawa said the grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will help create jobs and reduce energy use for rural communities.

Lalamilo Farm Partners in Kamuela will receive nearly $170,000 to help buy and install a 95 kilowatt photovoltaic system.

O Guest Ranch Maui in Kula will get $70,000 for a 43 kilowatt photovoltaic system on a dairy farm.

Hawaii rural companies get fed clean energy grants – Yahoo! Finance