Categorized | Business, Energy

Kona community forum on electricity (June 18)


West Hawaii Community Enterprise forum is all about electricity.

We use it around the clock and complain about its cost. We all need electricity. What will NextEra’s $4.3 billion purchase of Hawaii’s multi-island private electric utility, Hawaii Electric Inc., mean to the state’s clean energy future and to the utility’s customers of Hawaii County?

§ Electricity prices in Hawaii are currently the highest in the country, at nearly three times the national average. What are the benefits that NextEra’s acquisition brings to Hawaii?

§ Hawaii boasts one of the fastest adoption rates of rooftop solar in the nation. With so many home grown Hawai’i solar jobs at stake, will Hawaii’s new power provider and utility follow a similar pattern of utilities in other states who are actively engaged in a war on solar (seen as competitive to their business interests) and stymie its popular adoption?

§ Can NextEra meet the state’s newly adopted 100% goal for renewable energy by 2045?

§ Is the current 20th century utility revenue model still relevant to Hawaii’s solar economy?

§ Can Consumers become their own utility and successfully disconnect from the grid?

§ Is Hawaii ready to adopt NextEra’s plans to upgrade its newly acquired Hawaii power plants (fueled by the dirtiest of fossil fuels: coal and oil) with another imported fossil fuel (natural gas), and all in exchange for the promise of cheaper electricity rates?

§ How will the power of size, money, and political influence by Florida-based NextEra transform Hawaii’s energy future? Will Hawaii’s PUC protect the public interest?

These and many other questions important to customers of HEI (HELCO) will be discussed by a panel of experts, each with a different outlook on Hawaii’s electricity dependent future.

Forum is 6 p.m. Thursday, June 18 at the County Council Chambers, West Hawaii Civic Center to learn more from the event’s featured speakers:

· Jay Ignacio, HELCO, President

· Henry Curtis, Ililani Media

· Marco Mangelsdorf, HIEC, Secretary

Doors will open at 5:30 pm, pupus and beverages will be served prior to the program. The program is free and open to the public.

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