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RAPIDRegulatory and Permitting Information Desktop Toolkit
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Hawaii Bulk Transmission Transmission & Interconnection(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

State or Preemptive Authority: The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission has primary authority over siting transmission lines by public utilities.
Transmission Siting Agency: Hawaii Public Utilities Commission, local governments
Transmission Siting Process: Prior to installing transmission, developers must submit a complete Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity Application to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission. H.R.S. § 269-7.5(a) H.A.R. §6-61-74.
Transmission Siting Threshold: 120 kV or more.
Siting Act: Hawaii does not have a state specific siting act.
Regulated Entity Definition: A "public utility" is defined, in part, as “…every person who may own, control, operate or manage...facilities for the production, conveyance, transmission, delivery, or furnishing of light, power, heat, cold, water, gas, or oil..." H.R.S. 269-1(1).
Public Utility Regulatory Authority Certification Transmission Threshold: Public utilities must obtain a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity from the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission Hawaii Public Utilities Commission prior to installing a high-voltage (120 kV or more) electric transmission line. H.R.S. § 269-7.5(a), H.R.S. § 269-132(a).
Permit Processing Timeframe: There is no statutorily defined time frame for approval.

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