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State seeks ideas for spending $146 million clean energy fund

The Hawaii Green Infrastructure Authority said today it is looking for proposals to use roughly $146 million of state loan program that has been left largely unused.

HGIA said it is seeking proposals for clean energy projects to use the funds of the Green Energy Market Securitization program, or GEMS, which established loan options in 2015 where consumers and nonprofits could apply for financing of rooftop solar systems. HGIA is the state agency created to run GEMS.

Now HGIA is calling for proposals from clean energy developers, financiers, and other industry participants seeking to use the money for clean energy projects.

State lawmakers approved the GEMS, program in 2013 and raised $150 million in a November 2014 bond sale. The program had a goal of lending all the money for solar and other renewable energy systems by November 2016

After a year of offering loans for rooftop solar systems, only 12 have been installed — loaning only $385,000. To accomplish these results, the program has spent $21.5 million of ratepayers’ money. HGIA said failure of the GEMS program to lend more than a small fraction of its bond proceeds is due to changes in the solar marketplace.

HGIA said information on how to apply can be found on the GEMS website at: gems.hawaii.gov. HGIA said the solicitation will remain open as long as GEMS funds remain available.

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  • Something fishy here. “the program has spent $21.5 million of ratepayers’ money.” Ok, what was it spent on? Why didn’t Kathryn Mykleseth cover this in her report? Clearly she failed to do her “Due Diligence.”

    Looks like another taxpayer funded debacle. If there is no use for the money, cancel the loan so more money is not wasted on interest payments.

    Ahhhhh just another day in the little 8th world of Hawaii Nei.

  • The GEMS program was established for a specific purpose, that being rooftop solar systems. Since that purpose no longer seems to be valid, what is left of the fund should be placed in a lock box to repay the bonds instead of looking for other ways to spend and waste the money on so-called green energy fantasies.

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