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Viewpoint: Our Commitment to Hawai‘i – A More Affordable, 100 Percent Renewable Energy Future

Gov. David Ige’s recent comments raised important questions about our pending merger and Hawaiʻi’s clean energy future, questions that we continue to work diligently and transparently to address with all of our stakeholders. We want to make our position clear and reiterate our full and unequivocal support of the State of Hawaiʻi’s goal of achieving 100 percent renewable energy by 2045. NextEra Energy has publicly and on numerous occasions expressed its support of this goal. We believe our proposed partnership with Hawaiian Electric provides the best path forward to achieving what is, without question, an aggressive, yet very attainable, goal. Together, we can get there.

Hawaiʻi is a special place – a postcard from the future as it relates to renewable energy. And that is what attracted us to the State in the first place. The renewable energy law signed by Governor Ige is the most ambitious clean energy goal in the country – making Hawai‘i the first state in the nation to adopt a 100 percent renewable portfolio standard. Achieving this visionary goal requires a diverse portfolio of renewable energy resources and strong, upgraded electrical grids. It requires deep financial resources to make these investments, an innovative approach and strong technological expertise to develop their full potential. We believe we check those boxes. Importantly, it requires an unwavering long-term commitment to Hawai‘i – a commitment to honoring its culture, values and aspirations. We respect Hawaiian Electric’s history in this special community, and, as a trusted partner, we can help Hawaiian Electric be stronger and better equipped to achieve the clean energy future we all want for Hawai‘i.

NextEra Energy shares Hawaiian Electric’s commitment to Hawai‘i and, importantly, brings to the table a powerful combination of renewable energy expertise, technological know-how, financial strength highlighted by deep access to capital necessary for investment and experience in modernizing our utility’s generation and distribution facilities. We are the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun – supplying enough solar and wind energy to power more than three million homes. NextEra Energy is the right partner at the right time for Hawaiian Electric. Our strengths complement one another. We are confident that, together, we will reach our goals – and those of Hawaiʻi’s – faster, with greater certainty and with significant customer benefits along the way.

Imagine the progress we can make together.

Hawaiian Electric and NextEra Energy can help Hawai‘i achieve its clean energy goals while also creating meaningful cost savings for customers. Our electric utility has reduced its reliance on imported oil by 99 percent since 2001, and our customers pay electric bills that are 30 percent below the national average. And our filed merger plan anticipates more than $600 million in economic benefits for Hawai‘i in the first five years after closing.

But this story isn’t just about numbers. It’s about a future we – Hawaiian Electric and NextEra Energy – envision for Hawai‘i. Hawaiʻi has a lineage of innovative resource management that stems from a culture grounded in the natural environment. We see a future in which Hawai‘i continues to lead the nation in setting and achieving bold clean energy goals. We see a future where we’ve meaningfully reduced our dependence on expensive imported oil. And we see a future where lower electric bills mean families and businesses have more opportunities to create the future they want for themselves and others. Simply put, NextEra Energy shares the hopes and vision for Hawaiʻi’s energy future that the Governor so eloquently described.

As Gov. Ige and others have noted, we are in midst of what will be a very thorough process to consider the benefits of this proposed merger. We look forward to continuing to listen and learn and to
constructively engaging with communities throughout the state, with the Public Utilities Commission and with the administration as we discuss our shared vision for a more affordable clean energy future for Hawai‘i.

Eric Gleason

Eric Gleason is the president of NextEra Energy Hawaii

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