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Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Big Island Group Proposes Electric Co-Op
By News Release @ 4:25 PM :: 4317 Views :: Hawaii County , Energy

Hawaii Island Energy Cooperative Launches

News Release from HIEC, February 17, 2015

The Hawaii Island Energy Cooperative (HIEC) announces that it has filed a motion to intervene in the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission Docket 2015-0022, the proposed merger of Hawaiian Electric Industries, Hawaiian Electric Company, Maui Electric Company, Hawaii Electric Light Company and NextEra Energy.

HIEC is a non-profit cooperative association formed by community and business leaders on Hawaii Island to explore the potential merits of a community-based, cooperative ownership structure for electric utility service on the island, including such potential benefits as:  

· Local, democratic control over the island’s energy infrastructure, providing greater benefits and retaining any excess over the cost of operations for island residents.

· Community-based and community-chosen  strategic priorities under which the cooperative operates for the sustainable development of the island.

· Potentially lower electric costs through tax exempt status, lower cost of capital and no shareholder profits, greater efforts to develop less expensive island-based power sources, promotion of education, markedly improved energy efficiency, and the accelerated adoption of appropriate advanced technologies.

· Greater overall energy independence, higher renewable energy generation, and enhanced sustainability through a comprehensive and integrated approach to all energy-consuming sectors on the island.

· Developing and emphasizing island-produced fuels to provide an energy source for both electric generation and transportation sectors.

In seeking to intervene in the PUC Docket, HIEC is not taking a position in favor of or opposition to the proposed merger at this time.  Rather, HIEC seeks to bring to the proceedings its specific focus on the energy needs of Hawaii Island and its unique perspective on potential cooperative ownership structures.

“We seek to participate in the discussion of the unique perspective of the residents of our island, and if appropriate, explore an option that would make for a fundamental change in the landscape of energy production and consumption on Hawaii Island,” explained HIEC director and spokesman Marco Mangelsdorf.  “Being able to have more direct control over Hawaii Island’s present and future energy profile would provide us with an extraordinary opportunity to showcase what can be done on our island on many different and innovative levels,” said Mangelsdorf.

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Related: Electric Co-op for Big Island?

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