Governor criticizes proposed energy merger

Bad fit, bad deal. So says Hawaii’s governor about the proposed NextEra- Hawaiian Electric merger. The $4.3 bIllion dollar sale looks like it’s in trouble. KITV-4’s Catherine Cruz joins us with the latest developments. Nat sound 4:27 430 – “Hawaii is the perfect setting for this clean energy transformation to occur,” That was the governor speaking at an energy conference in Waikiki. The transformation may or may not happen with NextEra. Just two hours later– Ige spoke out against the proposed $4.3 billion dollar merger with Hawaiian Electric. – GOV 23:24- 22:27 -“We are taking the position that the merger as proposed at this point is unacceptable” Yesterday’s deadline for expert testimony on the mega deal that stands to dramatically change Hawaii’s future spurred the hard line position–that Nextera is not in step with Hawaii’s goal of 100% renewable energy by 2045. GOV 28:00 – 28: 31 – “It requires smart grid, and requires a change of the business model to allow transmission separate from the utility and it does require a model of distributed generation all which are opposite to the business model by Nextera,” Ige called the company’s filing and response to direct questions– vague and non- committal. The analysis by more than 2 dozen interveners underscored the need for better answers. – Marti Townsend Sierra Club 38:47- 39;02 – “Our testimony to the pUC tried to highlight to the PUC NExtera’s track record of being anti- consumer and anti renewable energy and anti-energy efficiency all things that local residents value highly,” The blue Planet foundation called it the tale of two companies. Richard Wallsgrove BLUE PLANET FOUNDATION 12:28 – 12:55 – “There is a subsidiary of NextEra that is the country’s largest renewable energy developer which is the forward thinking engineering expertise that could really help us get to our energy goals. On the other side of the leger is Florida Power and Light which isn’t a leader in renewable leader at this stage. Nextera also owns a natural gas company that owns wells that pull gas and energy out of the ground and that isn’t going to help get us to our goals either,” The governor says the deal is structured to benefit shareholders and is not in the best interest of Hawaii or its rate payers. Six months into the review process– it is now up to NextEra to fill in the blanks and convince the Public Utilities Commission it’s committed to the islands.Catherine CRuz KITV 4 news/ Hawaiian Electric said it feels strongly that others will conclude this partnership will result in significant benefits for customers. NextEra said it has committed to a local independent advisory board and will listen to and work with all stakeholders to achieve what’s best for the state. It says its filing demonstrates more than $600 million in economic benefits in the first five years after closing and added it is optimistic as the process continues we will find more common ground.

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