By Pacific Business News (Honolulu)

State Energy Administrator Ted Peckâ¿¿s departure last week to join Kuokoa Inc. has left the top post vacant for guiding the policy side of Hawaiiâ¿¿s transition to renewable energy and energy efficiency.

Estrella Seese will assume the position on an interim basis, while the Department of Human Resources conducts a search for the civil service position. If Seese was to assume the nonappointed position permanently, state regulations require that she would have to go through the application process.

The position was vacant for nearly a year before Peck took the post in 2008.

Lois Hamaguchi, federal stimulus funds analyst for the state energy office, said the transition since Peckâ¿¿s departure last Friday had been seamless.

Peck has been touted as a strong leader in guiding the stateâ¿¿s clean energy initiative.

Seese has served as the energy officeâ¿¿s manager of energy policy and planning for the past thee years and has more than 30 years of experience in the energy sector.

Previously she was the director of pricing at Hawaiian Electric Co., where she oversaw the implementation of electric rates and tariffs on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island.

Seese has a masterâ¿¿s degree in economics from the University of Hawaii Manoa and a bachelorâ¿¿s degree in economics from Manilaâ¿¿s University of Santo Tomas in the Philippines.

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