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U.S. Navy Pumps $30 Million Into Hawaiian Energy Initiatives

September 12, 2013 posted by Eric Christensen

The U.S. Navy has just pumped $30 million into the Energy Excelerator, a program design to promote innovative energy companies at both the start-up and growth-stage. The grants are aimed at promoting energy independence and reducing the environmental footprint of the Navy's facilities in Hawaii, as well as stimulating private investment in advanced energy technologies. As we have noted previously here, Hawaii offers one of the world's best markets for renewable energy. An abundance of sun, geothermal resources, and wind, combined with by far the highest electricity prices in the nation, means that renewable resources are already cost-competitive with the existing power supply. Thus, investment at Hawaii's naval bases places investors on the threshold of lucrative markets in Hawaii as well as across the Pacific Rim. In addition, Hawaii still depends heavily on diesel generators to produce electricity. This generation fleet is not only expensive and environmentally undesirable, but creates serious national security risks because of the long supply lines involved in transporting fuel from either Asia or North America to the islands. For these reasons, the U.S. military has embarked on an ambitious program to reduce or eliminate the dependence of its facilities on fossil fuels, and plans to invest $7 billion in this effort. The new infusion of funds into the Energy Excelerator triples the amount provided over the last three years. During that time, the Excelerator has supported investment in a variety of new and renewable technologies, ranging from fuel cells and renewable natural gas to algal biofuels and wave energy. If you have any questions about the matters discussed in this post, please contact a member of GTH's Energy, Telecommunications, and Utilities practice group. In addition, GTH-Government Affairs offers comprehensive government relations services, including advocacy, research, and strategic advice in both Olympia and Washington, D.C. Maj. Gen. (ret) Tim Lowenberg, a GTH-GA Vice President who recently became Of Counsel to the GTH law firm, is a 44-year veteran of the military. Combined with GTH's extensive experience in renewable energy develop, Maj. Gen. Lowenberg's military experiences gives our firm unique insights to help guide clients through the often complex and daunting world of contracting with the military on energy projects.