Clean energy company NextEra Energy — along with Hawaiian Electric Company, Hawaii Electric Light Company and Maui Electric Company Limited — announced new details for NextEra’s merger with the three companies, which includes a collection of 85 commitments that will help spur Hawaii’s drive towards a 100% renewable energy future by 2045.
All three Hawaiian electric companies are collectively referred to as Hawaiian Electric, subsidiaries of Hawaiian Electric Industries.
These recently announced commitments, agreed to during filings with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC), will help net customer savings of around US$465 million and economic benefits of approximately US$500 million during the first five years following the close of the merger — equaling out to nearly US$1 billion in total.
Of the US$465 million in customer savings, US$172 million is expected to be generated from capital expenditure savings, US$133 million in savings from a four-year general base rate case moratorium, US$60 million in guaranteed rate savings, US$67 million in fuel savings, US$30 million in non-fuel operating and maintenance cost reductions and US$3 million in lower interest expense.
Eric Gleason, president of NextEra Energy Hawaii, LLC, said: “Our expanded set of commitments is a clear reflection of the thoughtful input we have received from many key stakeholders, including the Governor and the Consumer Advocate. We fully embrace Hawaii's goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2045 and believe this partnership represents the best path forward to achieving this goal – the most ambitious of its kind in the nation. This is a goal that will be accomplished by many people working together collaboratively, and we hope to play a major role in that effort.”
NextEra also plans to accelerate the deployment of smart meters across Hawaii by approximately two years. New smart grid technology will assist NextEra in managing its electric grids, performing functions such as detecting and restoring outages — as well as give customers new access to information about their energy usage and pricing options.
Alan Oshima, president and chief executive officer of Hawaiian Electric, added: “Achieving Hawaii's 100 percent renewable energy goal is of critical importance to all of us and we firmly believe that the combination of NextEra Energy and Hawaiian Electric will best position our state to realize this future.”