On Oct. 2, Hawaii became the second state to propel alternative energy development by requiring power utilities to buy renewable power at specific prices under long-term contracts, a practice known as “feed-in tariffs.” Widely used in Europe, the rule has been effective in spurring project development, says Jamie Steve, director of government relations for San Francisco-based Pattern Energy Group, formerly Babcock and Brown’s North American energy development group. Vermont adopted similar requirements last month. Hawaii adopted the rule to help the state meet a mandate to have 40% of its power come from renewable sources by 2030. At least 33
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.