NextEra Energy and Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc., Hawaii Electric Light Company, Inc. and Maui Electric Company Limited (collectively referred to as “Hawaiian Electric”), subsidiaries of Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc., has filed an application with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) requesting approval of the proposed merger involving Hawaiian Electric.
The filing details the companies' commitments to Hawaiian Electric's communities, employees and customers for enhancing service reliability, continuing community and charitable support, continuing to locally manage Hawaiian Electric's utilities from their existing operating locations, delivering savings and value for customers, and strengthening and accelerating a cleaner energy future. Highlights of the application include a commitment to not file a request with the PUC for a general base rate increase for at least four years post-transaction close and approximately $60 million in quantified customer savings, both subject to approval of certain conditions.
Hawaiian Electric stands at the forefront in addressing a vast array of complex issues associated with Hawaii's clean energy transformation. By combining with NextEra Energy, Hawaiian Electric will gain a partner with deep operational, technical and managerial expertise, financial capacity and a proven clean energy track record. The proposed combination is expected to provide Hawaiian Electric with the added capacity, resources and access to expertise to strengthen and accelerate Hawaii's transition to a more affordable, equitable and inclusive clean energy future, while delivering substantial customer benefits, including lower costs and improved reliability over time.
NextEra Energy pledges that their new services and rate mechanism will help to save the customers approximately USD$60 million in cumulative. Also, NextEra Energy will ensure the customers with especially-designed protections to avoid further impacts raised from businesses.
To Hawaiian Electric, the merger will strengthen its supports to local communities as well as accelerate its progress in developing renewable energy. So far, Hawaiian Electric has successfully integrated rooftop solar with 12% of residential customers – 11,000 new installations in 2014 alone – and helped achieved 21% renewable energy. NextEra Energy is believed to accomplish more clean energy goals such as tripling the amount of distributed solar generation and achieving among the nation’s highest levels of renewable energy by 2030. NextEra Energy commits to strengthening and accelerating Hawaiian Electric's clean energy transformation through increased renewable energy – including integrating more rooftop solar energy – electric grid modernizations, energy storage and customer demand response programs.
NextEra Energy's principal subsidiaries include Florida Power & Light Company (FPL), one of the nation's largest and most well-respected electric utilities, and NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, which together with its affiliated entities (NextEra Energy Resources), is North America's largest producer of renewable energy from the wind and sun. Through NextEra Energy Resources, NextEra Energy brings to bear all the capabilities of a renewable energy leader, including utility-scale and distributed solar, wind and battery storage, as well as the resources to help accelerate Hawaiian Electric's efforts to pursue a new energy future in Hawaii. Together, FPL and NextEra Energy Resources have completed more than USD$24 billion worth of major capital projects since 2003, overall on time and under budget.
"We share Hawaiian Electric's vision of increasing renewable energy, modernizing its grid, reducing Hawaii's dependence on imported oil, integrating more rooftop solar energy and, importantly, lowering customer bills, and we believe our combination will help to accelerate Hawaii's clean energy transformation,” said Eric Gleason, president of NextEra Energy Hawaii, LLC. “We welcome the opportunity to engage directly with the PUC and the communities that Hawaiian Electric serves. As we move forward, our focus will be on applying our expertise and resources, alongside Hawaiian Electric's, to bring significant benefits, savings and value to Hawaiian Electric customers and to create the clean energy future we all want for Hawaii."
Alan Oshima, Hawaiian Electric's president and chief executive officer, added, "This partnership will help us deliver substantial value to Hawaiian Electric's customers, including through NextEra Energy's commitment not to request an increase in general base rates for at least four years following the close of the transaction and to forego rate increases for recovery of operation and maintenance increases during that same period."
(Photo: Website of NextEra Energy)