Kauai and Oahu have been selected to be part of the Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Project, or ETIPP, by the U.S. Department of Energy. This project was designed for remote and island communities facing high energy costs and vulnerable infrastructure. This will mean the Department of Energy will provide federal assistance to support both Islands transportation and electric grid infrastructures, reduce the risk of outages, and improve future energy and economic outlook. Prioritizing a community-led and inclusive approach by identifying the energy challenges of each community and providing strategic assistance to help determine and direct energy transition.

On Kauai they will explore alternative and autonomous mobility options for its residents and tourists to move away from fossil-fuel powered single occupancy vehicles. This project is supported by the Department of Energy’s Office of Electricity, as well as the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Solar Energy Technologies Office, Water Power Technologies Office, and Energy Transitions Initiative. Several Pacific and West Coast stakeholder engagement partners will also help identify communities and prioritize their energy resilience needs including the Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

This is good news for the islands that have long depended on imported oil, since a clean energy future means resiliency and economic security. These projects tackle two of the most important steps in achieving the goal to become carbon negative by 2045, with clean transportation and grid improvements.