Recent public and private efforts to advance renewable energy, energy efficiency, and fuel cells in Hawaii—including plans to spend up to $10 million in support of renewable power projects—are giving the state a new prominence in the clean energy arena.

The Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) is involved in many of these actions, including low-interest loans and rebates for solar hot water systems in Honolulu and the opening of the Hawaii Fuel Cell Test Facility, also in Honolulu. And in late May, HECO announced that its subsidiary, Renewable Hawaii, Inc., is requesting proposals for renewable energy projects on the island of Oahu. The company has approval to invest up to $10 million in grid-connected power projects that draw on renewable energy.

HECO also worked with the State of Hawaii and DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) to generate new high-resolution wind resource maps for the islands of Oahu, Maui, Molokai, and Lanai. Although the full set of maps is currently being validated by a local meteorologist and by NREL, the 50-meter wind speed maps for each island are now available.