Hawaii Business Roundtable Announces Support for NextEra Energy and HEI Merger
News Release from Hawaiian Electric and NextEra
HONOLULU and JUNO BEACH, Fla. – Jan. 29, 2016 - NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE:NEE) and Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. (NYSE:HE) (HEI) today announced that the Hawaii Business Roundtable, a statewide public policy organization made up of CEOs and senior executives of companies headquartered or maintaining significant operations in Hawaii, has expressed its support for the merger between Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. (NYSE: HE) (HEI) and NextEra Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NEE). In doing so, the Hawaii Business Roundtable is affirming its position that NextEra Energy is the right energy partner to help Hawaiian Electric build a more affordable renewable energy future for Hawaii.
“We sincerely appreciate the Hawaii Business Roundtable stepping forward and voicing its support for our partnership with Hawaiian Electric,” said Eric Gleason, president of NextEra Energy Hawaii. “The support we have received from Hawaii residents, business and local organizations from across the state strengthens our belief that together, we will achieve a more affordable, renewable energy future.”
“The Hawaii Business Roundtable’s support of the proposed merger is especially meaningful given the leadership of Hawaii’s business community that the organization represents,” said Alan Oshima, president and chief executive officer of Hawaiian Electric. “NextEra Energy will be a strong partner who will work with us to reach our clean energy goals, and we are pleased that the Hawaii Business Roundtable agrees.”
The Hawaii Business Roundtable issued the following position statement:
“As members of the Hawaii Business Roundtable, we share a commitment to a common goal: a better future for the people of Hawaii. To that end, we have followed the public debate on the proposed merger between NextEra Energy and Hawaiian Electric. We commend the Public Utilities Commission for encouraging an open, nonpolitical, public discussion as our high electricity rates are an important topic to all of us in Hawaii. We support the state’s goal of achieving 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. As business leaders, we recognize that a better future often requires significant investment. Achieving the state’s clean energy goals, while lowering electricity rates for businesses and customers, is no different.
We are also acutely aware of the burden high electricity rates place on both the cost of doing business and living in Hawaii. Our energy future is of critical importance and we need to determine the best path that will get us to a cleaner, more affordable energy future.
Our resources are limited here in Hawaii. To ensure the best foundation for economic opportunities and growth in Hawaii we must cultivate a business friendly climate to attract the necessary investment that will benefit us and future generations. Capital investments – such as those currently proposed by Hawaiian Electric and supported by NextEra or others that the Public Utilities Commission ultimately determines to approve – will be substantial and are important for Hawaii. We need to maintain an open business climate, welcoming investments in Hawaii , to help create our desired future.
A key part of creating a more prosperous future for our state is having the right energy partner willing and able to make the needed investments to ensure clean, reliable and affordable electricity in Hawaii. NextEra has the capabilities, expertise, and the financial and technical resources to be that partner. We support the Public Utilities Commission’s process to evaluate the NextEra Energy-HEI merger and trust that the process will lead to reasonable conditions that will allow the merger to move us forward in creating an affordable renewable energy future for Hawaii.”