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Governor Signs New Loans Bill

HAWAI`I Hawaiian Governor Linda Lingle signed into law a new loans bill to help the aquaculture and agriculture industries create their own power.

The legislation was part of three bills aimed at increasing renewable energy generation and reducing Hawai`i's dependence on imported oil.

Act 209, establishes a new class of loans that will help farmers create their own power for their operations, thus helping to preserve the future of farming and aquaculture in the State of Hawai‘i.

The bill expands the State's existing agricultural and aquaculture loan programs to allow farmers to develop renewable energy for their farms using renewable sources such as photovoltaics, hydro, wind, methane, biodeiesel and ethanol.

Food safety and product tracking projects would also qualify for the loans.

The maximum loan amount would be $1,500,000 or 85 per cent of the project cost, whichever is less, for up to 40 years. The annual interest rate will be three per cent for agricultural loans and five per cent for aquaculture loans.