Shareholders of Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. (HEI) have approved the merger agreement with NextEra Energy, Inc. announced Dec. 3, 2014. After the merger, the two companies will accelerate HEI’s plan to lower electric bills and triple distributed solar.
HEI is a leader of Hawaiian clean energy development, helping meet 21% of customer electricity needs from renewable energy resources. NextEra is a developer, builder and operator of grid networks and renewable energy. The merger will initially continue on HEI’s plans. HEI plans to achieve a 65% renewable portfolio standard (RPS) by 2030. This week Gov. David Ige signed a bill into law that set a goal of 70% RPS by 2040 and 100% RPS by 2045 for the state—goals which Hawaiian Electric and NextEra Energy have each stated they fully support.
"We're confident that this merger will help us more quickly achieve the affordable clean energy future we all want for Hawaii," said Connie Lau, HEI's president and chief executive officer and chairman of the boards of Hawaiian Electric and American Savings Bank. "We're proud to support a measure recently passed by the legislature and signed by our governor making Hawaii the first state in the nation to adopt a 100% renewable energy portfolio standard. Partnering with NextEra Energy will strengthen and accelerate our ability to reach our state's ambitious goals."
The merger is expected to combine both companies’ expertise to accelerate Hawaii’s clean energy transformation, while delivering substantial customer benefits, including lower costs.
While the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved the proposed merger, the transaction remains subject to other regulatory approvals. Following the spinoff, American Savings Bank will remain based in Hawaii as an independent public company, and continue to provide a full range of financial products and services, including business and consumer banking, insurance and investments, corporate banking and commercial real estate lending.