As 2017 is winding down, Hawaii's energy stakeholders are gearing up for the state's upcoming legislative session, with bills related to energy storage high on the agenda.
Kyle Datta, general partner at Ulupono Initiative, told Pacific Business News the Honolulu-based investment firm will push for the replacement of the state's solar tax credit with an energy storage tax credit during the 2018 legislative session, which starts on Jan. 17.
During the 2017 legislative session, Ulupono supported Senate Bill 665. The bill – introduced by Sens. Lorraine Inouye, Donovan Dela Cruz, Kaialii Kahele and Maile Shimabukuro – called for the replacement of the current renewable energy technology systems tax credit with tax credits for solar or wind energy property and energy storage property.
The investment firm, which was founded by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, said in its testimony that the bill "aligns with our goal of increasing the production of clean, renewable energy in Hawaii, while being neutral to revenue positive to the state."
According to Datta, the bill had widespread support from people in the renewable energy industry as well as the utility. However, it did not pass and will be carried over to 2018.
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