Hawaii Lawmakers Defer Energy Storage Tax Credit Bill, Cash Rebate Measure Remains Viable

In the Hawaii State Legislature, a bill (SB-365) that would have provided a tax credit for energy storage projects has been shelved, Pacific Business News reported on March 20 .

Senate Bill 365, related to energy storage, failed to cross over to the House after being deferred by the Senate Committee on Transportation and Energy.

State Senator Lorraine Inouye, (D-Hilo-Kona), chairwoman of the committee, also was one of the sponsors of the bill.

The bill received lots of support from the state’s renewable energy industry, according to PBN,  including the Distributed Energy Resources Council, which noted that the investment in energy storage is seen as a crucial next step toward the development of a resilient and reliable electrical grid that can accommodate more renewable energy resources and help Hawaii achieve its clean energy goals.

Ulupono Initiative, a Honolulu-based sustainable investment firm founded by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, opposed the bill because, the company said, it would be too costly for the state.

The firm said that in an attempt to make it more fiscally neutral for the state, there are several changes to the bill that it recommends, including that it should have a sunset date and tax credit caps per system., according to the local business news outlet.

Another intervenor, Erik Kvam, who heads the Renewable Energy Action Coalition of Hawaii, said that House Bill 1593 HD1, relating to green infrastructure, would be the next-best energy storage incentive to be considered by the legislature.

This bill, which would create a cash rebate program for energy storage in Hawaii, is being discussed by the Senate Energy Committee and the Senate Consumer Protection Committee at a public hearing today, March 22, at the state Capitol.

In the previous legislative session, lawmakers shelved Senate Bill 2738, which would have established an energy storage system rebate program, Pacific Business News said.

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