Hawaii Solar Energy Leader Voted Out

Sophie Cocke/Civil Beat

The well-known head of the Hawaii Solar Energy Association has been ousted from his position as board member and president of the trade group.

Mark Duda says the vote last week to remove him from the organization's leadership was because of an internal conflict over the board's position on state tax incentives for solar projects.

The tax credits, which have helped prop up Hawaii’s burgeoning solar sector, have become a hot topic at the Hawaii Legislature. Some lawmakers want to scale back the tax credits and make it more difficult for homeowners and commercial installers to qualify for them.

Duda has advocated for negotiating with state lawmakers to reduce tax credits in a way that doesn’t cause a major shock to the industry. But he said this position has conflicted with that of some on the board who oppose any reduction in incentives.

“In terms of the point of where I’m differing with these other guys, they are saying don’t give up anything, and I’m saying we ought to give up something,” said Duda.

Other board members interviewed by Civil Beat either wouldn't say why Duda was voted out or said they didn't know why.

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