Thursday, September 3, 2015

Fifty Hawaii Legislators Call for Alternative to the NextEra Deal

By Henry Curtis

A very diversified group of 40 to 50 Democratic and Republican State and County Legislators are calling for some form of public ownership of the HECO Companies. 

The group included Chairs of the Kaui, Maui and Hawaii County Councils, 11 other Councilmembers, 8 State Senators and 20 State Representatives.

A number of other legislators expressed interest in supporting public utilities.

Senators Mike Gabbard, Josh Green, Gil Kahele, Gil Riviere, Russell Ruderman, Maile Shimabukuro, Laura Thielen, and Glenn Wakai.

Representatives: Della Au Belatti, Tom Brower, Richard Creagan, Lynn DeCoite, Cindy Evans, Beth Fukumoto Chang, Kaniela Ing, Jarrett Keohokalole, Bert Kobayashi, Sam Kong, Chris Lee, Matt LoPresti, Nicole Lowen, Lauren Matsumoto, Dee Morikawa, Mark Nakashima, Takashi Ohno, Feki Pouha, Cynthia Thielen, and Justin Woodson.

Big Island Councy Council Chair Dru Mamo Kanuha and Members Greggor Ilagan, Maile David, Karen Eoff and Energy Chair Margaret Wille.

City and County of Honolulu Council Chair Ernie Martin and Members Trevor Ozawa, Kyberly Marcos Pine, and Ikaika Anderson.

Kauai Council Chair Mel Rapozo and Council Members Gary Hooser, Mason Chock, and Ross Kagawa.

Maui County Council Member and Energy Chair Don Guzman.

Representatives Beth Fukumoto Chang and Chris Lee

Chris Lee opened the press conference.

"We understand that the public has some significant concerns about the NextEra merger.

We have a decision before us in our state that's going to last for decades to come. 

We are here to say for our purposes, for the public, for the constituents of Hawaii, we need to put the best interest of the public first, and that means putting all options on the table, and doing our due diligence to begin evaluating co-ops and public utility options that folks on the Neighbor Islands have already started talking about." 

House Minority Leader Beth Fukumoto Chang spoke next.

"I think we can all agree that the skyrocketing cost of electricity in this State has been detrimental to our local families and we need to put all options on the table. 

Especially because NextEra has not necessarily presented a plan yet that shows us how they are going to give us any savings for our consumers."

Ernie Martin said the rail project would make the county energy use surpass the military's use. It is critical to get costs u
nder control.

As more and more people seek ways to become energy self-sufficient, we need to rethink our traditional electrical power distribution. As the future heads towards decentralized systems, now is the time for us to explore public ownership as an option that could best serve the needs of Oahu residents."

Representative Richard
Creagan spoke about health and justice impacts associated with high electric prices.

Representative Matt LoPresti talked about the lack of air conditioners in Ewa due to the high cost of electricity and its health and education impacts. A teacher went to the hospital yesterday.

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Red Teaming the Merger Proposal

By Henry Curtis

The term “Red Team” was used in the two most recent conferences held at the Hawaii Convention Center during August 2015. 

Red Teams are relevant to the HECO-NextEra merger proposal.

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) and the Asia Pacific Resilience Innovation Summit and Expo (APRISE) both discussed the need for Red Teams.

A Red Team is an independent team of experts who seek to subvert a finding or challenge a way of thinking.

In astronomy the term planet only applies to our solar system. Exoplanets means a similar entity floating through space or circulating a star other than the Sun. Thousands of exoplanets are being discovered each year. Some appear to have characteristics similar to Earth. Red Teams seek to challenge these findings.

Camp Smith, a U.S. Marine base in Aiea, has micro grids. The military has brought in Red Team hackers, some of whom try to attack from outside. In other cases it is assumed that hackers penetrated the outer security layers and Red Teams are brought inside the system to test inner vulnerabilities.

In the TV series Network News a Red Team of reporters had been intentionally kept out of the loop. They were presented with an expose by investigate reporters. The Red Team has to check the soundness of the story. They failed to discover that the expose was in fact a fake.

Penetration testers seek access often unbeknownst to the client staff. When applied to intelligence work, red-teaming is sometimes called alternative analysis. The United States intelligence community has red teams that write articles as if they were foreign world leaders.  

Red Teams need both to test systems and to have their tests understood by those higher in the chain of command. In 1932 Rear Admiral Harry Yarnell demonstrated the effectiveness of an attack on Pearl Harbor. The exercise was ruled a success but managers omitted the analysis in the final report. The Japanese used the same tactical attack pattern nine years later.

The Hawaiian Electric Companies (HECO) is located at a particular point on its historical spectrum.

There are two possible future positions. In each of them HECO has achieved the goals laid out for it by the Legislature and the Public Utilities Commission including developing a business strategy, formulating plans, and identifying timelines.

One of these possible future position is the “no-transaction future” where HECO is owned by Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI).  The other possible future position is the “transaction future” where HECO is a subsidiary of NextEra.  

Mark Glick, Administrator of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) State Energy Office asserted in his testimony that the correct analysis is between the two alternative future positions. 

The appropriate baseline against which NextEra's proposal should be compared is based on a no-transaction future," testified Glick.

What are the relative merits of the two alternative futures? 

Which one better serves the public interest?

Nextera outside witness John Reed disagreed. Reed believes the comparison should be between HECO’s current position and NextEra's transaction future.

The question is not how the Proposed Transaction compares to a state which does not exist today, but whether the Proposed Transaction improves the likelihood of success in achieving the State’s energy policy goals.

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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

What are the Alternatives to NextEra?

By Henry Curtis

Yesterday NextEra filed their response testimony seeking to counter the testimony of the Consumer Advocate and the 28 intervenors, all of whom opposed the NextEra proposal to take over the Hawaiian Electric Companies. 

NextEra gave part of their filing to the media several hours before filing with the Public Utilities Commission and intervenors. This allowed NextEra to corner the evening news.

Eric Gleason, President of NextEra Energy Hawai‘i, LLC (NEEH) and President of NextEra Energy Transmission, LLC (NEET) testified  that it was up to those who are opposed to NextEra takeover to identify who should instead take over the HECO Companies.

A number of parties assert that our Florida track record demonstrates we are not the right partner for Hawai‘i. Notably, the Intervenors do not point to any other company that would be a better fit for Hawai‘i or the Hawaiian Electric Companies.” 

On the other hand NextEra witness John Reed, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Concentric Energy Advisors, Inc. and CE Capital, Inc., testified that alternatives are not on the table. Reed, based in Massachusetts, asserted the only choice is NextEra or no Nextera.

The choice before the Commission is clear, i.e., either approve the transaction, (with or without conditions) or reject it and leave control of HEI with its existing shareholders. No other options are before the Commission at this time.”

"The testimonies on various parties “present a wide range of complaints, concerns, contentions and conditions that reflect two things above all - concerns about possible future events that may or may not happen, with or without the Proposed Transaction, and concerns about the individual interests of parties that compete with the Applicants, that wish to be the successors to the Applicants, or that wish to see the Applicants constrained in some manner. 

So, in my opinion, the choice before the Commission remains straightforward: is the State better off with the transaction than without it?  More specifically, is it consistent with promoting the public interest, even though it may not be consistent with promoting certain parties’ private interests?”

“As with the solicitation of other alternatives, there is no legitimate reason to delay consideration of the Proposed Transaction in favor of a potential cooperative or municipalization.”


Many people in Hawai`i believe that NextEra’s proposal has played a key role in bringing options from the back burner to the front burner. More people and more groups are discussing more options for the energy future of Hawai`i.

Four alternative models are being floated: municipal utility, cooperative utility, private utility and an energy services company.

Municipal Utility

The Maui Office of Economic Development has contracted with Oklahoma-based Guernsey to study whether to create a municipal utility. 

The Maui News and Information Hub reported that the original idea was to pay Guernsey $30,000, however Maui County, an intervenor in the merger proceedings, decided to up the fee to $70,000 and shorted the deadline for the report to next month.

Guernsey will analyze alternative utility business models and alternative forms of ownership “in order to provide better information that may assist the county’s position in the NextEra/Maui Electric merger docket.”

The engineering, architectural and consulting firm is familiar with Hawai`i. Guernsey had an office on O`ahu from 1999 to 2007 and worked with the US Army and HECO “when the military wanted to privatize its electrical systems on Oʻahu and Hawaiʻi Island.” 

In addition, Guernsey has “worked with multiple electric utility and cooperative clients across the US to review options for acquisition, consolidation, privatization and/or valuation.”

Electric Cooperative

Over the past decade the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) has been far more successful than the HECO Companies in limiting rate hikes. 

Four intervenors in the merger proceedings – The Alliance for Solar Choice, KIUC, the Hawaii Island Electric Cooperative (HIEC) and Sierra Club – have suggested that a cooperative might be a better alternative than NextEra.

KULOLO (Keep Utilities Locally Owned, Locally Operated) was founded by TASC and the Sierra Club to examine alternatives. 

Last spring Utility Dive wrote a comprehensive blog column of the Hawai`i-based cooperative alternative and the players involved. “Inside Hawaii activists' push to ditch HECO and transform the utility business model: Doubts about the NextEra merger are fueling calls for a co-op or muni for each island."

Private Utility

In many places around the country the electric utility has a geographic monopoly. Not so in Hawai`i. Any entity can form a utility and be regulated by the Public Utilities Commission.

Parker Ranch is among the largest cattle ranches in the United States. In 1992 Richard Smart died. His will specified that the Ranch was to become a trust to benefit four non-profits: Parker School Trust Corporation, Hawai‘i Preparatory Academy, Hawai‘i Community Foundation’s Richard Smart Fund, and North Hawai‘i Community Hospital.

Parker Ranch hired three international firms to study their energy options. 

The Ranch has perhaps more than half of the land-based wind resources in the State and enormous height differentials which could be utilized for pumped storage hydroelectric. 

The firms found that the Ranch could produce power at rates below what HELCO was charging. 

If HELCO refused to lease or sell the utility grid, Parker Ranch could build their own grid and still beat the HELCO price.

Parker Ranch has formed Paniolo Power to advance its energy agenda. 

The Energy Services Company

Many entities recognize that we are in a period of rapid change in which disruptive technology is threatening core industries. Who would have thought that the 21st century idea of replacing traditional light bulbs with CFLs would be replaced so quickly with LEDs?

The telecommunication revolution of the 1990s and the Solar Revolution of the 2000s are two examines of the incredible change. Globally, solar installations have been growing at more than forty percent per year since the turn on the millennium just fifteen years ago.

The energy storage revolution is around the corner. 

The State of Hawai`i in general, and Maui in particular, are at the leading edge of the world in integrating large amounts of intermittent renewable energy onto the grids.

Many other islands, regions and countries have far higher renewable energy penetration levels, but they either rely on baseload renewable energy (hydroelectric and geothermal) and/or are interconnected to large multi-regional grids that can serve to balance intermittent loads.

Intervenor Life of the Land has noted that prior to the recent collapse in oil prices, the cost of solar plus battery was cheaper than grid-based electricity on the Neighbor Islands. 

Grid-based rates expected to rise sharply with the billions of dollars of investments needed for Smart Meters, Smart Grids and cyber-security measures. Solar and energy storage prices are on a downward trend. Thus the grid and non-grid differential is expected to grow making non-grid options more and more appealable.

Ratepayers are reluctant to cut their umbilical cord with the electric utility for a variety of reasons ranging from a lack of technical know-how to being stranded for costly repairs from future storms.

One approach would be the creation of a Hawai`i Public Utilities Commission regulated Energy Service Provider (ESP). 

The ESP would have a portfolio of Commission approved contracts to meet different needs of different energy consumer sectors. The company would have a variety of insurance support to weather and act of nature.

The ESP would offer package deals through contracts with solar installers, energy storage companies, electric car companies, high-speed internet companies and Hawaii Energy (the Hawai`i Public Utilities Commission regulated company offering energy efficiency).

One low monthly rate would allow customers to feel comfortable ending their reliance on electric and transportation fossil fuels while enjoying ultra-high speed internet connections.

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Tuesday, September 1, 2015

NextEra Seeks to Control Hawai`i Message

By Henry Curtis

Yesterday morning NextEra sent out copies of some of their rebuttal testimony to selected members of the press. NextEra granted interviews to some media people.

The full reply testimony was not time-stamped with the Public Utilities Commission until nearly 4 p.m. The full filing was not sent to the Consumer Advocate and the 28 intervenors until 4:12 p.m.

This media ploy was structured so that NextEra could try to control or spin the media coverage for the evening news.

Civil Beat reporter Nathan Eagle wrote, “Gleason made time Monday morning for several print and online reporters to ask questions about the companies’ filing during a conference call. A few of the responses and a press release were provided 30 minutes before the call, embargoed until the response was filed with the PUC around 4 p.m., making it difficult to ask questions about the filing itself.”

NextEra filed a 1,000 pages of reuttal testimony and exhibits.

"Our core corporate values of commitment to excellence, doing the right thing and treating people with respect, while not identical, are closely aligned and very compatible with Hawaii’s ‘triple bottom line’ of kuleana, malama pono and aloha,” testified Eric Gleason, President of NextEra Energy Hawai‘i, LLC (NEEH) and President of NextEra Energy Transmission, LLC (NEET).”

“I have learned that malama pono means to take good care, and that Hawai‘i places a high worth on this value as evidenced by the State motto
‘Ua mau ke ea o ka µƗina i ka pono.’ In both cases, I understand ‘pono’ is ‘doing what is right.’

The concept of ‘malama’ implicates care on multiple levels – social, environmental, cultural, and economic – doing things with or from the heart.

This is very consistent with NextEra Energy’s values.

“It has been explained to me that ‘aloha ‘ is a complex word with many layers of meaning, but one meaning is compassion and cooperation.  I have listened to the proverb ‘aloha kekahi i kekahi ‘(love and respect one another).  

To me, this implies the reciprocal cultural mandate that ‘aloha’ is a reciprocal relationship and is parallel with NextEra Energy’s value to ‘treat people with respect.’  

I view NextEra Energy’s value to ‘treat people with respect’ as an implied and indispensable element of ‘aloha.’”

Eric Gleason testified that “NextEra Energy’s CEO will look to the President and CEO of the Hawaiian Electric Companies for advice with respect to meetings with stakeholders.” 

The information on how the new HECO President and CEO will be selected by the NextEra leadership in Florida is classified information on a need to know basis which excludes the general public.

Eric Gleason testified that NextEra’s desire to acquire HECO and to bring liquefied natural gas (LNG) into this State is consistent with the Governor’s opposition to the merger and to importing LNG.

Simply put, NextEra Energy shares the hopes and vision for Hawaii’s energy future that the Governor so eloquently described.” The footnote to Gleason’s quote stated in part "state-releases-testimony-opposing-proposed-hei-nextera-merger."

The attempt by NextEra to take over the HECO Companies is the 29th merger/acquisition that Eric Gleason has been involved with over the past three decades.

Eric Gleason testified that NextEra fits neatly into the historical and current Hawai`i picture.

Hawai‘i has embarked upon a pioneering journey toward a cleaner, more affordable energy future. This represents the continuation of a unique energy heritage: from the development of the ahupua‘a system of integrated resource management many centuries ago, to King David Laʻamea Kalākaua’s early recognition of the potential of electricity for Hawaiʻi in the 1870s, to Senator Daniel Inouye’s sponsorship of the Hawai‘i Deep Water Cable Program in the 1980s, to the Hawai‘i Clean Energy Initiative and 100% RPS of recent years.

Hawai‘i has set a bold course to honor and enrich this legacy. … Our company proposed to unite with the Hawaiian Electric Companies in order to strengthen and accelerate Hawaii’s clean energy transformation.”

Where does that come from? Florida newspapers have reported on Florida Power & Light's downsizing their employment. Could that happen here? 

Eric Gleason asserted that, "In accordance with the Merger Agreement, for at least two years after close, there will be no involuntary workforce reductions."

Where's the aloha is that and how much respect does that show for the people of Hawai`i on the most isolated archepelago on the planet?

Eric Gleason testified that if intervenors did not want the HECO Companies to be taken over by NextEra they should have identified who should take over the HECO Companies.

A number of parties assert that our Florida track record demonstrates we are not the right partner for Hawai‘i. Notably, the Intervenors do not point to any other company that would be a better fit for Hawai‘i or the Hawaiian Electric Companies.” 

Eric Gleason asserted that the media is to blame for falsely categorizing Florida Power & Light.

“The general characterization of assertions is that our utility FPL: does not have a lot of renewables, and what little they do have is mostly utility-scale rather than rooftop solar; burns a lot of natural gas and operates nuclear plants; does not have much in the way of demand response or energy efficiency programs; owns mostly utility-scale generation, rather than buying from independent producers; has a lot of influence in the state which it has used to serve its own interests rather than the public interest; must reflect the NextEra Energy corporate mindset so doing things the same way in Hawai‘i must surely be our intention; and lacks the capabilities to help Hawai‘i even if NextEra Energy does have the right intentions.

Remarkably, press stories and a discredited writing are cited by intervenor witnesses and used as ‘factual’ support for various aspects of what are essentially arguments, not testimony. All of these assertions are flawed and none rises to the level of facts upon which a valid case can be made.” 

Eric Gleason responded to testimony by Consumer Advocate witnesses Nishina and Carver regarding NextEra’s efforts to remove a sitting Commissioner on the Florida Public Service Commission.

The filing of the motion was taken only as a last resort and after very careful consideration on the part of FPL. However, as documented in the motion and then in the writ of prohibition filed with the appellate court, the anti-FPL bias of the former commissioner had become so abundantly clear that FPL was compelled to take steps to protect its customers and investors from this bias to secure its right to due process and a fair hearing before an impartial decision maker.

The seriousness of the step of filing for the disqualification is underscored by the fact that the verified motion was sworn to by FPL’s Senior Vice President, now President, Eric Silagy.

FPL explained how the former commissioner had breached his legal obligations by engaging in openly adversarial conduct towards FPL, essentially taking on the role of prosecutor rather than judge. Additionally, the former commissioner made public comments further displaying his animosity towards FPL.

FPL was not alone in its concern. In the midst of these developments the credit rating agencies recognized the deteriorated political and regulatory situation in Florida as a marked departure from the previously stable regulatory environment."

This was an unprecedented action for FPL to take, and certainly not  indicative of how FPL routinely functions in Florida’s regulatory environment, as Applicants’ witness Deason explains in his Responsive

FPL always strives to work cooperatively with the Florida Public Service Commission to foster a constructive regulatory environment that benefits its customers and Florida.”

Eric Gleason aggressively countered intervenor positions.

Certain intervenors seem to believe that NextEra Energy’s merger plans include ‘dominating’ fuel sources and the markets, and, therefore, the Proposed Transaction will diminish competition. This view is inflammatory and unfounded.” 

Eric Gleason continued to dodge what NextEra would do once they acquired the HECO Companies.

Some parties who are either for or against an inter-island cable or LNG have criticized us in their testimonies for not reaching definitive conclusions that are aligned with their own positions on either side of the issues.  For example, we do understand and respect that the State’s energy policy has been supportive of inter-island cables. 

However, the fact is that regardless of State policy, such projects can only be realized if the utility is able to make a satisfactory public interest case to the Commission, together with vetting by the appropriate authorities on environmental and cultural grounds. 

From the utility’s perspective, the first step in this process is resource planning, and good resource planning is hard, complex, and time-consuming work.  We have a duty not to shortcut that analysis, which has yet to be completed.  While this is just one example, it illustrates our thought process and our customer-focused approach to resource planning matters.”

Eric Gleason summarized the need for central control.

Taking into account all known and reasonably foreseeable technologies, we are also persuaded that centralized generation has a vital role to play in ensuring that all customers have access to reliable and affordable power, and that the electricity grid itself will continue to play an essential role in connecting all of the above, for many decades to come.”

Several parties recommended approval of the merger only is strong conditions were added to the proposed takeover.

Eric Gleason responded, “These conditions range from Planning Office witness Hempling’s numerous conditions requiring prior Commission approval for the conduct of NextEra Energy’s routine business transactions, to DOD witness Smith’s proposals for the Commission to micro-manage affiliate transactions, to Hawaii Gas witness Tierney’s conditions that the merged company fund, without recovery through rates, new Commission Staff. 

If imposed, the proposed conditions, which purportedly are designed to strengthen and enhance regulation of the merged companies, would effectively transform the Commission from regulator to manager of the Hawaiian Electric Companies. This is unnecessary and inappropriate.”

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Monday, August 31, 2015

University of Hawai`i focused on inter-island smart grids and micro grids

By Henry Curtis

Modernization of the Hawaiian Electric Companies transmission and distribution grid may be required to increase the use of renewable energy. Grid modernization is certainly where the research money is flowing.

At one time in recent memory the Democratic Party served as the retirement home for senior retirees from the HECO Companies. Today it may be the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI).

Leon Roose is an attorney and electrical engineer. He was an employee of the Hawaiian Electric Company for 19 years where he oversaw efforts to build inter-island cables. 

Roose joined the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute in 2012 as a faculty specialist where he has spearheaded the formation of Grid System Technologies Advanced Research Team (GridSTART), a Hawaii Natural Energy Institute research team focused on smart grids and micro grids.

Marc Matsuura spent 21 years working for HECO as an electrical engineer where he worked on interconnecting island grids. He joined Hawaii Natural Energy Institute in 2014 as the Senior Smart Grid Program Manager.

Nathan Liang is an electrical engineer who worked as a HECO for 23 years, most recently directing the Distribution Planning Division. He joined Hawaii Natural Energy Institute in 2013 as a Senior Power System Engineer focused on the integration, smart grids and micro grids applications.

Staci Sadoyama is an electrical engineer worked for Lockheed Martin and then for HECO as a Protection Engineer. She worked on developing relay protection settings. She has been hired by the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute.

Hsun Kanoa Jou is an electrical engineer who worked at HECO for six years on interconnection requirements and protection settings. He was hired by the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute in 2014 as a Power System Engineer.

Attorney John Cole served as a Commissioner on the Hawai`i Public Utilities Commission, as the Consumer Advocate. He joined Hawaii Natural Energy Institute in 2012 where he focused on the Hawaii Clean Energy Programmatic EIS which started out as justification for inter-island cables. At HNEI he oversaw projects ranging from the possible importation of LNG into Hawaii to the on-going effort by General Electric to modelling inter-island connectivity.

James P. Griffin is an Hawaii Natural Energy Institute Energy Analyst who has been loaned to the PUC for the last several years.

Regardless of to what extent Hawaii Natural Energy Institute plays its role, their web site asserts the organization is involved with the Coconut Island Micro-grid Project, Japan-U.S. Island Grid Project, JumpSMART Maui Project, Molokai Renewable Initiative, Oahu – Maui County Grid Interconnection Study and the Maui Smart Grid Project.

 Moku o Loʻe (Coconut Island) is a 28-acre island in Kāne'ohe Bay off the island of Oahu. It is a marine research facility of the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) of the University of Hawaii. It is one of only a few labs around the world that was built on a coral reef. The research facility includes six acres of enclosed lagoons where captive sea life can be studied.

The Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology serves as home to the Hawai‘i Coral Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program (CRAMP), a state-wide network of more than 30 long-term coral reef monitoring sites with associated data collection systems.

Coconut Island

Last Thursday there was a military tour of the Camp Smith micro grid. During lunch Leon Roose talked about using Coconut Island as a test bed for a microgrid. 

The island currently received power from two distribution lines transverse Kaneohe Bay between the island and Lilipuna Rd in Kaneohe.

Roose described the many difficulties of building a micro grid including salt corrosion. 

The problem seemed more that the planners didn’t know or didn’t want to say exactly what they were going to be doing or whether it will further the understanding of inter-island grid integration.

The 5 megawatt micro grid system will not become operational for a few years. Analyzing the data is projected take a long time. Apparently there is no need to quickly understand micro grids.

HNEI, DBEDT and the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission are working closely with General Electric on modelling inter-island connectivity.

General Electric (GE) and NextEra are closely linked. NextEra was founded as Florida Power & Light (FPL). FPL can trace its history back to Thomas Edison and GE. Today NextEra is a major GE customer.

NextEra Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James L. Robo served as chairman and CEO of GE Mexico and was president and CEO of a major division at GE Capital. 

NextEra executive vice president of human resources and corporate services Deborah Caplan worked at GE as the senior vice president of global operations for Vendor Financial Services.

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Sunday, August 30, 2015

Renewable Energy Bragging Rights

By Henry Curtis

In 2015 Hawaii enacted a law that purportedly is the “most aggressive clean energy goal in the country.” This statement is easy to make in the absence of facts and research.

Hawai`i has a very high intermittent renewable energy (wind, solar) penetration level especially for isolated island grids.

That is not the same thing as asserting that Hawai`i’s renewable energy goals are unparalleled throughout the world. (All of the data below is from the last few years.)

Some countries have large amounts of baseload renewable energy, chiefly hydroelectric and to a lesser extent geothermal.

Percent of Electricity produced from Hydroelectric Generators

Costa Rica
Kyrgyk Republic
North Korea
Peru Ecuador
New Zealand

Some countries and islands produce all of their electricity from renewable energy resources. A sample of countries and locations are listed below. The list omits a number of places that have renewable energy penetration between 50 and 100 percent.

RE Electricity Percent
Samso, Denmark
Kodiak Island, Alaska
Hawai`i Island (HELCO)
Maui County (MECO)
O`ahu (HECO)
Kauai (KIUC)


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