- With a 100% renewable goal now on the table and oil prices falling, Hawaii Gov. David Ige (D) has revealed he opposes plans to import liquefied natural gas as a bridge fuel to cleaner and less expensive power.
- At a business and policy conference this week in Honolulu, Ige, a keynote speaker, said the state does not need LNG and should be moving forward on its renewable goals instead.
- Both Hawaiian Electric (HECO) and Hawaii Gas have floated plans to construct import terminals, with gas deliveries beginning to reach the state in 2019. HECO has pledged to push on despite the governor's opposition.
Hawaiian LNG imports have been a controversial idea, balanced against the state's 100% renewable target by 2045, but were viewed as a way to move the state away from expensive oil imports that kept power rates high. Gov. Ige, however, this week cast those plans into doubt as he told a business conference that the state does not need the liquefied imports.
“I have reached the conclusion that Hawaii does not need LNG in our future,” Ige said at the Asia-Pacific Resilience Innovation Summits & Expo in Honolulu. “It’s time to focus all of our efforts on renewables. We will oppose the building of LNG facilities.”
Pacific Business News reports that Ige said any investments in LNG will mean time and money not spent on meeting the state's renewables goals.
Earlier this month it was revealed that Hawaiian Electric signed NextEra as a fuels consultant on its proposed $235 million LNG import terminal. The company is in talks to puchase HECO for $4.3 billion. And Hawaii Gas says it is on track to begin 2019 imports, potentially saving the state's consumers $100 million.
Darren Pai, a spokesman for Hawaiian Electric, told Pacific Business News that the utility remains committed to renewables goals and is looking at LNG on a short-term basis. “We are evaluating delivering LNG in specialized shipping containers to our generating stations on a transitional basis, an approach that requires minimal island infrastructure," he told the news outlet.