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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, May 22, 2010

Solar industry boosts Isle job market

Advertiser Staff

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Last year, the solar industry added more than 1,500 jobs to the state's economy as renewable energy expanded. Panels were installed at this school on Moloka'i.

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More than 1,500 jobs were added to the Hawai'i economy last year as the solar energy industry expanded, according to an industry trade group.

The Solar Energy Industries Association said the jobs here were part of the 17,000 created in the industry nationwide last year by the business. The association released the employment study as part of its lobbying effort to extend the Department of Treasury's grant program and the solar manufacturing investment tax credit for two years.

The industry is arguing the extension would add 200,000 jobs to the solar workforce and 10 gigawatts of new solar installations.


Fitch Ratings has affirmed its "AA+" rating on $2.3 billion of City and County of Honolulu debt, citing the city's solid tourism industry, its role as a regional center and what it said was a sound financial position.

The agency said the ratings outlook was stable, but it noted Honolulu's pension and other retiree benefits will continue to pressure finances and that its economy is cyclical because of tourism.

It also noted Honolulu's debt levels are moderate at about $2,400 per capita.


Dave Helfert, the former communications director for former U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie, was selected by the National Small Business Association for one of its 2010 Small Business Stars awards.

The honor goes to those who have demonstrated leadership in advocating for small businesses in Washington.

Helfert was cited for helping entrepreneurs.

"With Helfert, a former small-business owner, by his side, Rep. Abercrombie was an outspoken champion of small-business credit-card reform and enhancing access to capital for small business," the association said.


Carlito Caliboso, chairman of the Hawai'i Public Utilities Commission, has been appointed to the Federal Communications Commission's Joint Conference on Advanced Telecommunications Services.

The joint conference is a forum for discussion between the FCC, state regulators and local and regional entities on deployment of advanced telecommunications.