Featured Experts

Thank you to all the speakers for coming to share their expertise with us for the 2014 Hawaii Clean Energy Day. Mahalo!

Morning Keynote - Hawaii’s Opportunity: Failure is NOT an Option

Jim Lazar

Jim Lazar
Senior Advisor, Regulatory Assistance Project

Jim Lazar is an economist with 40 years of experience in the electric utility ratemaking process, including work throughout the U.S., and in Canada, Mexico, Asia, India, Europe, and South America, plus Samoa and Mauritius. Jim came to energy economics via transportation economics, and has remained active in transportation policy as a founder of the Association of Bicycle and Pedestrian Professionals in 1990 and as a founder of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute in 2009. He is a Senior Advisor with the Regulatory Assistance Project, a Vermont-based non-profit that provides training and technical assistance for utility policymakers, legislative bodies, the European Commission. Jim also works as the Chairman of the USDOE Electricity Advisory Committee. Jim has been involved in Hawaii energy policy since 1990, when he led a multi-island series of workshops on Integrated Resource Planning which fed into the creation of Hawaii's first Integrated Resource Planning rule. From 1992 to 2005, he was a frequent expert witness before the Hawaii PUC on behalf of the Consumer Advocate and the County of Hawaii. In 2003, he was co-author, with Carl Freedman, of the Hawaii Energy Policy Forum's report on Energy Regulation and Taxation. While Jim's home is in Olympia, Washington, he has visited Hawaii more than 40 times since his Hawaii first bicycle tour in 1985.

Updates in Clean Energy

Carl Freedman

Carl Freedman
Hawai'i Energy Policy Forum Energy Metrics Project Facilitator

Carl Freedman is the facilitator for the HEPF Energy Metrics Project. Mr. Freedman is also the owner and principal of Haiku Design and Analysis, a Maui-based consulting firm specializing in Public Utility Regulatory Affairs. He has worked on matters before the Hawaii PUC for over twenty years.

Representative Chris Lee

Representative Chris Lee
Chair, House Committee on Energy & Environmental Protection, Hawai'i State Legislature

Representative Chris Lee has represented Kailua and Waimanalo in the Hawaii State House of Representatives since 2008. Representative Lee currently serves as Chair of the Committee on Energy and Environmental Protection and also serves on the Committees on Consumer Protection and Commerce, Judiciary, Ocean and Marine Resources, Hawaiian Affairs, and Water and Land. He is a graduate of Oregon State University and Iolani School.

Jeff Ono

Jeff Ono
Consumer Advocate, Division of Consumer Advocacy, Department of Commerce & Consumer Affairs

Jeff Ono is the State’s Consumer Advocate in the Division of Consumer Advocacy in the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs. He was appointed to this position in January 2011. Previous to that he was a civil litigation attorney in private practice for 30 years. Jeff is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School and the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Michael Chang

Michael Chang
Deputy Program Director, Hawai'i Energy

Michael Chang currently works on the development and execution of the Public Utility Commission’s Hawaii Energy Efficiency and Conservation Programs. Michael has worked for two decades in the local energy industry with Hawaiian Electric Company as a Federal Account Executive. Michael was also the Commercial Energy Efficiency Program Manager, Performance Contracting Account Executive, Service Manager, and Honolulu Branch Manager at Johnson Controls. He holds a mechanical engineering degree and an MBA from the University of Hawaii.

Dawn Lippert

Dawn Lippert
Director, Energy Excelerator (a program of PICHTR)

Dawn Lippert is the Director of Energy Excelerator, a program that helps clean energy startups change the world, starting in Hawaii. The Energy Excelerator is a program of PICHTR, the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research. Prior to joining PICHTR, Ms. Lippert was a senior consultant with Booz Allen Hamilton in Washington D.C., where she provided management consulting to the Department of Energy on a variety of renewable energy projects, including the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative. Previously she worked with Hawaii County to develop the island’s sustainable energy plan with government and community partners. Ms. Lippert received her B.A. in Environmental Studies from Yale University and her Master’s Degree in Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Ben Sullivan

Ben Sullivan
Kaua'i County Energy Coordinator

Ben Sullivan is the Energy Coordinator for County of Kauai where he is responsible for guiding energy projects and policy. Previously, he was Strategic Planning Chair on Kauai Island Utility Cooperative’s Board of Directors, helping KIUC to move aggressively towards their goal of 50% renewable energy by 2023. Ben came into the energy sector as a community advocate for clean energy when he helped found Apollo Kauai in 2005. Prior to working in the energy sector, Ben spent fifteen years in architecture with a focus on green building. He has a bachelor’s from the University of Colorado in Environmental Design.

Will Rolston

Will Rolston
Hawai'i County Energy Coordinator

Will Rolston has 25 years of experience in the energy field as both a power engineer and energy analyst. He started as a power engineer for Westinghouse and Siemens with concentration on renewable energy projects and market analysis. Will then became an energy analyst for the investment firm, Janus Capital. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University and a Masters in Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology. In Hawaii, he was Renewable Projects Administrator for the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority and now serves as the County of Hawai‘i’s Energy Coordinator.

Justin Gruenstein

Justin Gruenstein
Energy Coordinator, City & County of Honolulu

Justin Gruenstein has served in Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s administration since February 2013. He is responsible for advising the Mayor and coordinating projects relating to energy, sustainability, and environmental matters. He currently facilitates inter-departmental efforts to convert all 51,700 of the City’s streetlights to energy-efficient LED. Mr. Gruenstein previously served as the Executive Assistant for Government Relations for Maui County, and as a policy analyst for seven years in the Washington State Legislature. He is currently a member of the HEPF, Hawaii Green Growth Working Group, and the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative Advisory Board.

Jim Kelly

Jim Kelly
Communications Manager, Kaua'i Island Utility Cooperative

Jim Kelly is the Communications Manager of Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC), Hawaii's only member-owned electric cooperative. He joined the KIUC in 2012 after a 30-year career as a reporter and editor at newspapers in Hawaii, California, Massachusetts and Minnesota. He was a managing editor of The Honolulu Advertiser and served as the newspaper's last editorial page editor before it closed in 2010. He also worked for five years as editor of Pacific Business News.

Lance Tanaka

Lance Tanaka
Director of Government & Public Affairs, Hawai'i Independent Energy

Lance Tanaka is director of government and public affairs for Hawaii Independent Energy, a subsidiary of Houston-based Par Petroleum Corporation. He oversees government relations, public and media relations, and community investment. Tanaka joined Hawaii Independent Energy in September 2013. For 14 years, Mr. Tanaka directed various communication functions at Douglas Aircraft Company. He was also chief subsidiary of the former McDonnell Douglas Corporation. In 1999, Mr. Tanaka was appointed vice president and manager of government affairs for Bank of Hawaii. From 2006 to 2013, Mr. Tanaka directed government and public affairs for the Hawaii subsidiary of Tesoro Corporation. Mr. Tanaka earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in graphic design from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Jay Fidell

Jay Fidell
President, ThinkTechHawai'i

Jay Fidell came to the islands in 1965 as a Coast Guard lawyer. Mr. Fidell founded Bendet Fidell in 1974 and has practiced business law there since then. He has an abiding interest in technology, and founded ThinkTech Hawai‘i in 2000. He has served as a director of HTDC, NELHA, HSDC, HSTC, HVCA and the Hawai‘i Energy Policy Forum. Mr. Fidell produced a weekly ThinkTech radio show on HPR until 2008. He writes a tech blog and column, organizes tech and business educational programs, and produces weekly video shows for broadcast on OLELO and OC16. He is an ardent advocate for economic diversification and a clean energy future for Hawai‘i.

Panel 1: Renewable Energy

Rick Rocheleau

Rick Rocheleau
Director, Hawai'i Natural Energy Institute, University of Hawaii

Rick Rocheleau is the Director of the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI). He works with federal and state agencies, industry, and our congressional delegation to develop programs to reduce Hawaii’s dependence on fossil fuels. The importance of HNEI’s activities continues to be recognized by the Hawaii State Legislature, which, in 2007, established HNEI in statute. HNEI also leads several significant public-private partnerships focused on the development, testing, and evaluation of emerging energy technologies. Dr. Rocheleau received his BS and PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Delaware and a M.S. in Ocean Engineering from the University of Hawai‘i.

Mark Duda

Mark Duda
Founding Partner, RevoluSun

Mark Duda is a founding member of Distributed Energy Partners, a Hawaii based, owned, and operated renewable energy firm focused on the commercial, non-profit and government markets. Mr. Duda also founded RevoluSun, a Hawaii-based residential solar integrator. He is President of the Hawaii Solar Energy Association where he develops the organization’s legislative agenda and leads regulatory activities. Mark is also a member of the DLNR’s Steering Committee for Renewable Energy Workforce Development. In 2009, Mark was named Hawaii Venture Capital Association’s Cleantech Entrepreneur of the Year and Pacific Business News’s “40 under 40” young business leaders.

Lunch Keynote Addresses

Jay Ignacio

Jay Ignacio
President Hawai'i Electric Light Company

Jay Ignacio is the president of Hawai‘i Electric Light Company. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and is registered as a Professional Engineer in the State of Hawai‘i. Jay is actively involved in the Hawai‘i Island community, serving on the board of the Hawaii Island Economic Development Board, the Hawaii Island Adult Care, the Hawaii Island Chamber of Commerce, and the Hilo Medical Center. He is an active supporter of the Marine Corps Toys for Tots program and the American Heart Association’s HeartWalk in Hilo.

Alan Arakawa

Alan Arakawa
Maui County Mayor

Mayor Alan Arakawa served as Maui County Mayor from 2002 to 2006 and was re-elected again in 2011, making him the first Maui Mayor to serve non-consecutive terms. In 1994, Arakawa decided to make his first run for public office and succeeded in being elected to the Maui County Council.  He was re-elected in 1996 and 2000. During his time on the Council, he served as Chair of the Planning, Parks and Land Use committees. He also spearheaded the movement to create nonpartisan elections for Maui County government seats. Mayor Arakawa graduated from Maui High School and attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa as a business major. 

Panel 2: Clean Transportation

Elizabeth Fischer

Elizabeth Fischer
US Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration

Elizabeth Fischer is a registered landscape architect who has worked in the area of community planning throughout her career on issues specific to rural areas, small communities, and tribal governments. The primary focuses of Ms. Fischer’s work include place-making, livability, smart growth, active-living through design, context sensitive design, historic preservation, climate adaptation, disaster recovery, and resilience planning. She currently heads transportation planning and emergency management and implementation for the USDOT-Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) in the State of Hawaii, the US Territories of American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.

Jadine Urasaki

Jadine Urasaki
Deputy Director, Department of Transportation

Jadine Urasaki has over 17 years of government experience. Prior to her appointment under Governor Abercrombie, Jadine worked as the Public Works Manager for Construction Management at the Department of Education Facilities Development Branch, and prior to that she was at various positions at the Department of Transportation. She is currently responsible for overseeing the Capital Improvement Program and Operation and Special Maintenance Programs as Deputy Director for the Department of Transportation. This includes Harbors, Highways, and Airport Divisions. She also directly manages the administrative office of the State Transportation Planning Office and Planning, Programming and Budgeting Office as well as all engineering functions of the Department. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Hawaii at Manoa College of Engineering. She is a graduate of Roosevelt High School.

Councilmember JoAnn Yukimura

Councilmember JoAnn Yukimura
Chair, Housing & Transportation Committee, Kaua'i County Council

Councilmember JoAnn Yukimura has served in elected office for 24 years—18 years on the council and 6 years as mayor. She was the first woman of Japanese-American ancestry elected mayor in the United States. She has blended her passion for public policy with her love for Kauaʻi, bringing to fruition projects with lasting benefits: the Kauaʻi Bus; sunshine markets; over 250 acres of park open spaces; 1,500 affordable homes; the Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative; and laws regulating vacation rentals, shoreline setback and farm worker housing.  As chair of the Housing & Transportation Committee, she secured funding for—and monitored until completion—the first and only multimodal land transportation plan in the state, with goals of keeping vehicle miles traveled (VMT) flat and increasing bus ridership by 1000% over the next 20 years. Councilmember Yukimura is a tireless advocate for public transportation, bikeways, and safe pedestrian facilities. She was born on Kauaʻi and received a B.A. from Stanford University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Washington.

Panel 3: Getting the Utilities’ Act Together

Hermina Morita

Hermina Morita
Chair, Public Utilities Commission

Hermina Morita has been Chair of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) since March 2011. Prior to her appointment to the PUC, she served in the State of Hawaii House of Representatives for 15 years; 13 of which she was the Chair of the House Energy & Environmental Protection Committee. Her previous experience also includes work in the private sector as business manager in the retail, construction and visitor industries. She also served on the Kauai Planning Commission and Kauai Police Commission. 

Warren Bollmeier

Warren Bollmeier
Director and President, Hawai'i Renewable Energy Alliance

Warren Bollmeier has over 37 years of experience in renewables including the past 24 in Hawaii. As President of HREA, Warren leads HREA’s legislative and regulatory initiatives. He is a registered lobbyist and has testified on behalf of HREA at the State Legislature on renewable energy policy matters, such as renewable energy tax credits, net energy metering, Renewable Portfolio Standards, and On-Bill Financing. Mr. Bollmeier is an advisor to the utilities on their Integrated Resource Plans on behalf of HREA and leads HREA’s interventions in Hawaii Public Utility Commission dockets (now numbering more than 30) relating to renewables, energy-efficiency, and competition in the electric utility sector.

Michael Yamane

Joe Viola
Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Hawaiian Electric Company

Joseph Viola has been the manager of the legal department at Hawaiian Electric Company since 2009. Joseph has served in HECO’s general council since 2000. Joseph previously was an associate with Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing from 1994-2000. Joseph earned his Juris Doctor from Hastings College of the Law, University of California in 1991.

Michael Yamane

Michael Yamane
Chief of Operations, Kaua'i Island Utility Cooperative

Michael Yamane is Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) Chief of Operations. Yamane is responsible for the areas of Transmission and Distribution (T&D), Production, Engineering, Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, and Safety. Yamane joined KIUC in 1989 as an Associate Engineer. He has held a number of positions during his 25 years at Kauai Electric/KIUC, including Staff Engineer and Customer Engineer in the Engineering Department, Power Systems Engineer and Substation Operations Engineer in the Transmission and Distribution Department, Manager of the Information Services Department, and Manager of Regulatory and Planning. Yamane has also served as KIUC’s lobbyist at the State Legislature from 2002 to present. Michael holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Panel 4: Implementing Clean Energy

Kyle Datta

Kyle Datta
Founding Partner, Ulupono Initiative

Kyle Datta is the founding partner of Ulupono Initiative, which was formed in 2009 to invest in three key areas to make Hawai`i more sustainable: more locally produced food, renewable energy, and waste reduction. Previously, Mr. Datta served as the CEO of U.S. Biodiesel Group. Mr. Datta was formerly a vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton and served as managing partner of the firm’s energy practice in Singapore and as leader of the U.S. Utility practice. Mr. Datta received a master’s degree in public and private management from the Yale School of Organization and Management and a master’s degree in environmental science in resource economics from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He is co-author of the Rocky Mountain Institute books, “Winning the Oil End Game” and “Small is Profitable.” Mr. Datta also serves on the board of directors for Blue Planet Foundation and Parker Ranch.

Mark Glick

Mark Glick
Energy Administrator, State Energy Office, Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism

Mark Glick has served as Administrator of the Hawaii State Energy Office, Department of Business, Economic Development since October of 2011. In addition to his leadership role in managing Hawaii’s nationally recognized clean energy agenda, Mr. Glick has been involved in community service as a three-term statewide chair of the state’s largest grassroots environment organization and is helping a small nonprofit with restoration efforts on the Waianae mountain range where he lives. His involvement in HEPF dates back to 2005 when he led economic development at the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.

Jeff Mikulina

Jeff Mikulina
CEO, Blue Planet Foundation

Jeff Mikulina is Chief Executive Officer of the Blue Planet Foundation, a non-profit organization whose mission is to end the use of fossil fuels on Earth, starting in Hawai‘i. Prior to working with Blue Planet, Jeff served as director of the Sierra Club, Hawai‘i Chapter for a decade. Jeff has worked on legislative initiatives that set a binding cap on Hawaii’s greenhouse gas emissions, require all new homes to use solar water heaters, require returnable deposits on all beverage containers, provide incentives for renewable energy use, establish curbside recycling on O‘ahu, and increase the funding of natural resources through tourism taxes. Jeff received a Master’s of Science degree in engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he focused on decision theory.

Alicia Moy

Alicia Moy
CEO, Hawaii Gas

Alicia Moy became President and Chief Executive Officer of Hawai'i Gas in May 2013. Her vision for the company focuses on fuel sourcing and diversification, strategic growth, and operational performance. She previously served as Senior Vice President of Macquarie Infrastructure Company, a $2.7 billion corporation that owns, operates and invests in a diversified group of infrastructure businesses in the United States. Ms. Moy oversaw several Macquarie-managed utility companies and has extensive leadership experience in corporate strategy, funding, and organizational management. She worked on the acquisition of Hawai'i Gas in 2005 and 2006, and has served as a member of the Hawai'i Gas Board of Directors since 2011. Ms. Moy began her career in the Investment Banking division of Morgan Stanley in New York before joining the Macquarie Group in 2001.

Next Steps: View from the Legislature

Senator Mike Gabbard

Senator Mike Gabbard
Chair, Senate Committee on Energy & Environment, Hawai'i State Legislature

Senator Mike Gabbard is a State Senator representing District 20 (West Oahu), where he has been the Chair of the Energy and Environment Committee since 2009. He previously served as a Honolulu City Councilman for District 1 (West Oahu) from 2003-2005. Senator Gabbard is committed to Hawai‘i ending its addiction to imported fossil fuel by exploring every avenue for energy efficiency and utilization of indigenous renewable energy resources. He is a life-long educator, small businessman, and proud owner of an all-electric Nissan Leaf.