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Tuesday, April 29, 2014
PUC Orders HECO to Cut Costs, Integrate More Solar
By News Release @ 10:01 PM :: 4982 Views :: Energy

PUC ORDERS ACTION PLANS TO ACHIEVE STATE’S ENERGY GOALS

News Release from Hawaii PUC April 29, 2014

The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) announced four major decisions and orders that collectively provide key policy, resource planning, and operational directives to the Hawaiian Electric Companies (HECO Companies). The orders require the HECO Companies to develop and implement major improvement action plans to aggressively pursue energy cost reductions, proactively respond to emerging renewable energy integration challenges, improve the interconnection process for customer-sited solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, and embrace customer demand response programs.

LINK: PRESS RELEASE WITH ORDER SUMMARIES

Integrated Resource Planning (Docket No. 2012-0036, Order No. 32052, “IRP Order”) – which rejected Hawaiian Electric Companies’ Integrated Resource Plan submission and, in lieu of an approved plan, has commenced other initiatives to enable resource planning and proffered a white paper entitled, “Commission’s Inclinations on the Future of Hawaii’s Electric Utilities.” The white paper outlines the vision, strategies and regulatory policy changes required to align Hawaiian Electric Companies’ business model with customers’ changing expectations and state energy policy; and provides specific guidance for future energy planning and project review, including strategic direction for future capital investments;

Reliability Standards Working Group (Docket No. 2011-0206, Order No. 32053, “RSWG Order”) – which makes various rulings regarding the final work product of the working group, and provides the PUC’s observations and perspectives regarding integrating utility-scale and distributed renewable energy resources in a reliable and economic manner; and directs Hawaiian Electric Companies, and in some cases, the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, to take timely actions to lower energy costs, improve system reliability and address emerging challenges to integrate additional renewable energy;

Policy Statement and Order Regarding Demand Response Programs (Docket No. 2007-0341, Order No. 32054, “Demand Response Policy Statement”) – which provides specific guidance concerning the objectives and goals for demand response programs, and requires Hawaiian Electric Companies to develop a fully integrated demand response portfolio that will enhance system operations and reduce costs to customers; and

Maui Electric Company (MECO) 2012 Test Year Rate Case (Docket No. 2011-0092, Order No. 32055, “MECO Order”) – which accepted the PUC consultant’s report reviewing MECO’s System Improvement and Curtailment Reduction (SICR) plan and directs MECO to file a Power Supply Improvement Plan to address the SICR plan’s shortcomings.

RELATED DOCUMENTS

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Statement from the Hawaiian Electric Companies regarding Hawaii PUC's Energy Policy Decisions

News Release from HECO

HONOLULU, April 29, 2014 – The following is a statement from Dick Rosenblum, president and CEO, Hawaiian Electric Company: 

The PUC issued a comprehensive set of energy policies and guidelines. In this challenging, fast-changing energy environment, we welcome the PUC’s clear direction and roadmap. We’ve been working on many of these initiatives, and these directives confirm the energy policy priorities that will guide our strategies and implementation.

We have many of the building blocks already in place, including our grid modernization work, the initial phase of our smart grid project, and our progress in renewable energy – now at more than 18 percent. We’ve begun deactivating older fossil fuel plants, such as Honolulu Power Plant and others on Maui and Hawaii Island. And we’re taking other steps to lower costs to customers, such as use of low- cost liquefied natural gas as a transition fuel. 

We understand the importance of moving quickly and see this as an unprecedented opportunity to move aggressively on a shared vision for the utility of the future and on our role in meeting the needs of our customers. 

We look forward to working with the PUC and the Hawaii State Energy Office as we move forward to develop and execute these comprehensive plans.

IM: Public Utilities Commission Issues Major Guidance Documents

CB: Abercrombie Says Hawaii Has Crossed 'the Energy Rubicon' on Renewables

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