Undersea cable update

Hawaii Independent Staff

The head of the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism says that in order for the state to reach its renewable energy goal, it needs an undersea cable connecting Oahu, Maui and eventually the Big Island’s electric grid and that, as a transitional fuel, liquefied natural gas, or LNG, needs to be shipped in to the state.

The state Public Utilities Commission will allow seven community, environmental and industry groups as well as energy developers and government officials to have a greater say in whether building an undersea cable to connect the electrical grids of Oahu and Maui is in the public interest. Allowing the “intervenors” to participate in the commission’s investigation will give authorities better information about the potential costs and benefits of such a project, according to a PUC ruling issued Tuesday.