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RAPIDRegulatory and Permitting Information Desktop Toolkit
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Hawaii Bulk Transmission Siting & Regulation(8-HI)

A utility permit or approval is required for all transmission construction, reconstruction and maintenance activities. Transmission lines are added when needed to serve increased loads and for reliability reasons. At the state level utility permits are issued by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC). The process of acquiring permits can be contentious, time consuming and costly. In almost all cases, developers siting transmission lines are classified as public utilities. Public utility is defined, in part, as “…every person who may own, control, operate or manage as owner, lessee, trustee, receiver or otherwise, whether under a franchise, charter, license, articles of association, or otherwise, any plant or equipment, or any part thereof, directly or indirectly for public use for…the transmission of intelligence by electricity…or transmission…of light, power, heat (or) cold. H.R.S. 269-1(1).

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Determine Which State and Federal Permits Apply

Use this overview flowchart and following steps to learn which federal and state permits apply to your projects.

Permitting at a Glance

Hawaii Federal

Transmission Siting: Hawaii does not have a state comprehensive siting process for transmission project development.
Preemptive Authority: The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission has primary authority over public utilities siting transmission lines. Hawaii – Haw. Rev. Stat. §§ 269 et seq., Public Utilities Commission
Regulated Entity Definition: A "public utility" includes "every person who may own, control, or manage...facilities for the production, conveyance, transmission, delivery, or funishing, of...power." H.R.S. § 269-1.
Public Utility Certificate Threshold: Public utilities may need a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity from the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission to construct high voltage transmission lines with a capacity of 120 kV or more. H.R.S. § 269-131.
Processing Timeframe: There is no statutorily defined time frame for approval.