Catharine Lo

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Oct 27
Public Utilities Commission

The PUC will hold hearings this week on decoupling (Docket No. 2013-0141). Blue Planet is an intervenor in the docket and has invited Ron Binz, former Colorado Public Utilities Commission Chairman and Obama's nominee to head the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, to testify as an expert witness.

Local Industry News

10/31  PBN: Hawaii Gas investing $13M in LNG expansion project

10/30  PBN: Lowering electricity rates in Hawaii starts by substituting solar energy for oil, expert says

10/30  PBN: Hawaii Public Utilities Commission launches search for executive director

10/29  PBN: Goldman Sachs, Citigroup head up Hawaii's $150M green financing program

10/28  PBN: $5M hydrogen fueling station planned for Downtown Honolulu

10/28  Star Advertiser: CEO must transform HECO, rebuild community rapport

10/28  Utility Dive: HECO to add 50 MW fast-acting power plant to support solar integration

10/27  PBN: Do the candidates for Hawaii governor 'walk the walk' on energy issues?

10/27  PBN: Hawaiian Electric's business model makes sense for Hawaii, CEO says

10/27  Civil Beat: Storage is key to Hawaii's energy independence

10/27  Transmission & Distribution World: Hawaii Electric Light enacts lava flow plans

10/26  Intelligent Utility: Hawaii utility plans to keep lights on during lava flow

Oct 19
Local Industry News

10/23  KHON2: Local nonprofits meet fundraising goals via crowdfunding

10/23  PBN: Hawaii's SafeConnect Solar gets $500k from Energy Department

10/22  PBN: Sunetric declines to renew advertising contract with Volta Industries EV charging network

10/20  Star-Advertiser: Hawaii Gas fuel shift could mean lower bills

10/20  PBN: Public support for renewable energy in Hawaii highly favorable, new report says

10/19  Star-Advertiser: What's in the wind?

Public Utilities Commission

10/10/14  The Hawaiian Electric Companies filed their response to the Information Requests by the Public Utilities Commission regarding the Power Supply Improvement Plans. It is in two parts: Part 1 (89MB) and Part 2 (78MB). (You can also download these from the PUC's Document Management System by searching for Docket No. 2014-0183 and clicking the Documents tab.)

Oct 14
Public Utilities Commission

10/10/14  The Hawaiian Electric Companies filed their response to the Information Requests by the Public Utilities Commission regarding the Power Supply Improvement Plans. It is in two parts: Part 1 (89MB) and Part 2 (78MB). (You can also download these from the PUC's Document Management System by searching for Docket No. 2014-0183 and clicking the Documents tab.)

Local Industry News

10/17  PBN: Hawaii needs to be realistic about energy security

10/17  PBN: Hooked by the barrel

10/17  Star-Advertiser: Car sharing service has eyes on Hawaii

10/17  Star-Advertiser: Gas prices may continue to drop 

10/17  PBN: Hawaii Gas seeking regulatory approval to ship more LNG to Islands

10/16  PBN: Pacific Biodiesel back to fueling boats at Maui's Maalaea Harbor

10/16  PBN: Hawaii capital fund to raise up to $500M to fund solar projects

10/16  PBN: Hawaii's oldest renewable energy firm now owned by its employees

10/16  PBN: Minnesota wind energy firm looking to test technology in Hawaii

10/16  PBN: BAE Systems to equip new Honolulu buses with hybrid system

10/16  Star-Advertiser: Electricity bills decline for most isle customers

10/15  PBN: Patagonia partners with Honolulu capital firm to create $27M solar energy fund

10/15  Business Week: Patagonia will start paying for homeowners' solar panels

10/15  PBN: Hawaii Energy gives $70k incentive check to Four Seasons Hualalai for energy efficiency projects

10/15  Civil Beat: Hawaii governor candidates offer ideas to bring down energy costs

10/15  Star-Advertiser: Would-be governors agree on green energy

1015  PBN: Big Island of Hawaii's solar energy industry not cooling down

10/14  Hawaii News Now: Hawaii's high energy cost debated at gubernatorial forum

10/14  KITV: Candidates share their position on Hawaii's clean energy future

10/14  Star-Advertiser: For geothermal, safety comes first

10/14  PBN: Hawaii gubernatorial candidates split on support of LNG

10/14  PBN: Honoulu hires former Coldwell Banker exec to run city's Bikeshare Hawaii program

10/14  Utility Dive: HECO solar plans in question as second project drops out

10/13  Star-Advertiser: Core changes needed at HEI

10/13  PBN: Oahu's solar industry continues to cool down

Oct 06
Public Meeting

Hawaiian Electric has announced a public forum on Friday, Oct. 17, to talk about their demand response programs. It takes place at the Energy Excelerator office, 1000 Bishop Street, Suite 505. Validated parking will be available at Central Pacific Plaza (220 South King St.) and light refreshments and coffee will be served. You can register by calling (808) 543-4632 or email by October 14, 2014 with the names of those persons who will attend. More info here.

Local Industry News

10/10  KHON: Critics say HECO's electric grid isn't equipped to handle more solar

10/10  PBN: Another major Hawaii solar energy project canceled

10/10  PBN: Former Hawaiian Electric CEO to serve as special advisor to chairman of the board

10/10  Star-Advertiser: PUC is one issue avoided by candidates for governor

10/10  Star-Advertiser: New Tesla Model D touts supercar performance

10/10  Star-Advertiser: HECO energy plan criticized as archaic

10/9  Civil Beat: Solar darkness—is Hawaii trapped in a grim HECO fairy tale?

10/9  PBN: The word 'solar' no longer sexy in Hawaii, solar exec says

10/9  PBN: Google-owned Makani to test wind technology on Hawaii's Big Island

10/9  West Hawaii Today: Makani sets sights on Kohala site for new wind project

10/8  PBN: SolarCity launches loan program in several states, including Hawaii

10/8  PBN: Kauai utility testing LED street lights as part of larger retrofit plan

10/7  Star-Advertiser: HECO plan called 'unfair' in comment to utility board

10/7  Star-Advertiser: LED there be light: 3 share Nobel for blue diode

10/7  Star-Advertiser: Motorists must be cautious in bike track's green zones

10/6  Star-Advertiser: Warm weather appears tied to severe coral bleaching

10/6  PBN: Response crews continue clean up of oil spill in Hawaii waters

10/6  Star-Advertiser: About 1,200 gallons of oil and water spilled off Barbers Point

10/6  PBN: Hawaii Independent Energy works to clean up oily water spill off Oahu

10/6  PBN: Is billionaire businessman Warren Buffet interested in buying Hawaiian Electric?

10/5  Star-Advertiser: Surfer finds off-grid adjustment easy

10/5  Star-Advertiser: Power customers opt to go off grid

10/5  Star-Advertiser: Hawaii Energy offers tips to cut energy costs

10/3  PBN: Power shift: Hawaiian Electric Co. gets a new leader as it changes the way in which businesses and residents get their energy


Sep 29
Public Utitlies Commission
Through Oct. 6, the Public Utilities Commission is accepting public comments on the Hawaiian Electric Companies action plans. Learn more here.
9/26 The PUC has issued an Information Request to the Hawaiian Electric Companies regarding their submitted plans (Docket No. 2014-0183 – Instituting a Proceeding to Review the Power Supply Improvement Plans for Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc., Hawaii Electric Light Company, Inc., and Maui Electric Company, Limited).
Local Industry News

10/2  PBN: New Hawaiian Electric CEO gets high praise from former colleagues

10/1  Star-Advertiser: PUC approves green energy program

10/1  Hawaii News Now: Maui official skeptical on future power plan

10/1  PBN: PUC gives green light on funding deployment for $150M for green finance program

9/30  Solar Industry Mag: Hawaii hopes storage will enable a multi-directional grid

9/30  Greentech Media: Can the Big Island of Hawaii get all of its electricity from renewables?

9/29  PBN: Hawaii Public Utilities Commission still facing staffing, office shortages

9/29  PBN: HECO negotiating with three battery energy storage developers

9/29  PBN: Major Hawaii geothermal project cut in half, switches areas on Big Island

9/29  Star-Advertiser: Energy storage alliances aim to cut costs

9/29  Utility Dive: Solar installers flee Hawaii as interconnection queue backs up

Sep 25

A few weeks ago, Hawaiian Electric submitted their proposed plans for the future of our electricity system. As the Public Utilities Commission reviews the plans, they have opened up the opportunity for the public to submit comments. Getting your opinion heard directly before the PUC usually involves participating in docket proceedings, requiring a combination of time, money, and an attorney. But for this issue, the PUC is asking for public comments directly, so we encourage everyone to take advantage of this opportunity to speak your mind.

The deadline for comments is Monday, October 6, 2014. Options for submitting include:

1) Email to with the following subject line: "Public Comment – Docket No. 2014-0183 – PSIPs – [Your Name]" or "Public Comment – Docket No. 2014-0192 – DGIP– [Your Name]"

2) First-class mail to 465 S. King Street, Room 103, Honolulu, HI  96813

3) Hand-delivery to PUC office during normal business hours (Monday–Friday between 7:45am and 4:30pm)

4) E-filing

We've compiled a list of suggested comments below, but we greatlly encourage you to share your own opinions and stories with the PUC. This template provides a working format for a letter.

         Comments supporting some aspects of the plans:

  • I support a commitment to reaching more than 65% clean energy, and I believe that this shows that the current state target for renewable energy (40%) should be updated to reflect what is achievable with technology available today and in the future.
  • I support deactivating the existing oil-fired generators.
  • I support a preference for renewable energy with a known cost, over polluting fossil fuels and their volatile costs.
  • I support the use of energy storage and demand response to minimize the amount of fossil-fueled generation used on the electric grid.
  • I support using the electric grid as a way to deliver services to homes and businesses, and I believe that this is the only way for electric utilities to survive in the future. I support the installation of smart meters to achieve that goal.
  • I support the aggressive use of demand response to enable more renewable energy.
  • I support using more distributed energy, like rooftop solar generation.
  • I support more customer options and choices, like the option to sign up for community solar programs that make it possible for all residents to participate in rooftop solar energy.

Comments voicing concerns about some aspects of the plans:

  • I am concerned that the Plans propose to continue burning coal. This dirty fossil fuel has no place in our islands.
  • I am concerned with the plan to switch from oil to gas. How can a new fossil fuel be the answer to the problems with fossil fuels? I don’t want our islands to be stuck in the same place we are now, decades into the future. How can we be sure that gas is being used as little as possible, and be sure that if we import gas today, it will be replaced as soon as possible with real clean energy.
  • I want to see more solar, wind, geothermal, and ocean energy. I am concerned that the plan proposes only modest amounts of new wind energy. I am concerned that offshore wind energy, which is being used in other parts of the world, is not part of Hawai‘i’s plan.
  • I am concerned by an over-reliance on waste-to-energy and biomass burning as renewable options. While these can be a part of the energy solution, we should focus intensely on options like wind and solar power.
  • I am concerned about the plans for rooftop solar. Although tripling solar energy by 2030 sounds like a good plan, this is actually a substantial slow-down in solar installations. Consumers want rooftop solar, and the utility’s response to its customers should be to find solutions to make that possible, at a faster and faster rate.

Here are some other resources that may be helpful:

PUC Press Release Inviting Public Comment

Links to the HECO Companies' Action Plans

Blue Planet Foundation's Initial Response to HECO Companies' Action Plans

Many critical decisions will be made in the coming year that will determine the future of our energy system, its cost, and its impacts. Mahalo for taking the time to make your opinion heard!


Sep 20
Public Utilities Commission

9/12  ORDER NO. 32294 Inviting Public Comment on the HECO Companies' Power Supply Improvement Plans (Docket 2014-0183) *DEADLINE 10/6*

9/12  ORDER NO. 32293 Inviting Public Comment on the HECO Companies' Distributed Generation Interconnection Plan (Docket 2014-0192) *DEADLINE 10/6*

Local Industry News

9/26  PBN: Commercial PV picks up as residential stalls

9/26  PBN: Hawaii's solar industry still accounts for many jobs despite slowdown

9/26  Star-Advertiser: Aloha stations, stores sold

9/26  Star-Advertiser: Large-scale solar project on Kauai is dedicated

9/26  Star-Advertiser: Alan Oshima: Hawaiian Electric's new president says our green future can happen if we all work together

9/25  PBN: Kauai utility flips the switch on Hawaii's largest solar farm

9/25  Utility Dive: Hawaii marches toward sunny future

9/25  Utility Dive: HECO completes first phse of smart grid rollout

9/25  KHON: Blue Planet raises Hawaii's grade in latest energy report card

9/25  PBN: Sale of Hawaii's Aloha Petroleum to Susser Petroleum makes sense, industry consultants say

9/25  Star-Advertiser: Aloha Petroleum gas stations, convenience stores sold for $240M

9/25  PBN: Hawaii's Aloha Petroleum sold to Houston's Susser Petroleum Partners for $240M

9/25  Star Advertiser: 5,200 smart meters installed on Oahu

9/25  PBN: Hawaiian Electric takes former OHA space at Honolulu's Pacific Park Plaza

9/24  Civil Beat: HECO begins smart grid rollout on Oahu

9/24  KITV: Chevron considers selling Hawaii refinery

9/24  Hawaii News Now: Kauai offered view of state's largest solar farm

9/24  KHON: Chevron considering sale of Hawaii-based assets

9/24  KHON: HECO completes first phase of smart grid technology

9/24  PBN: Hawaiian Electric installs smart grid technology in several Oahu neighborhoods

9/24  Star Advertiser: Kauai offers view of state's largest solar farm

9/24  Star-Advertiser: HECO switches on 5,200 smart meters on Oahu

9/23  PBN: Hawaiian Electric Industries' stock has nice upside, Wall Street's top-paid CEO tells CNBC

9/23  PBN: Chevron Hawaii refinery operation could fetch from $75M up to $200M

9/23  PBN: Former CEO of Hawaii's largest oil refinery speaks out

9/23  Civil Beat: Daring the public to comment on new HECO plan

9/22  PBN: Hawaii solar developer cancels major Oahu project

9/20  Civil Beat: HECO executives take heat from lawmakers, solar industry

9/20  Star-Advertiser: HECO chided for stalling PV systems

9/20  Hawaii News Now: HECO updates lawmakers on PV progress

Sep 14
Public Utilites Commission

9/15  Blue Planet Foundation Reply Statement of Position filed in Docket 2013-0141 (Instituting an Investigation to Reexamine the Existing Decoupling Mechanisms for Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc., Hawaii Electric Light Company, Inc., and Maui Electric Company, Limited.

9/12  ORDER NO. 32294 Inviting Public Comment on the HECO Companies' Power Supply Improvement Plans (Docket 2014-0183)

9/12  ORDER NO. 32293 Inviting Public Comment on the HECO Companies' Distributed Generation Interconnection Plan (Docket 2014-0192)

Local Industry News

9/19  KHON2: HECO says Oahu customers can resume normal electricity use

9/19  PBN: D.R. Horton plans 2015 start on Hawaii solar farm with new contractor

9/19  PBN: Maui, Kauai hold potential for seawater air-conditioning, Honolulu CEO says

9/19  PBN: Chevron mulling sale of Hawaii refinery

9/18  PBN: Former Sierra Club Hawaii director Robert Harris joins national solar company Sunrun

9/18  Star-Advertiser: Repairs underway at lame electrical facility

9/18  PBN: Hawaii tops in the U.S. in schools that could save money by going solar

9/17  Utility Dive: Hawaiian Electric system feels strain of heat wave, low reserves

9/17  PBN: CEO says Honolulu Seawater A/C project to start construction in August 2015

9/17  PBN: Hawaiian Electric developing plans for community solar

9/17  Star-Advertiser: Kiosks will help residents track Oahu's energy use

9/17  Star-Advertiser: Bills climbing on Oahu

9/17  PBN: Hawaiian Electric expects to save $22 million next year from fuel supply contract changes

9/17  PBN: New HECO CEO will be community-focused leader

9/17  Civil Beat: HECO ratepayers, you're going to pay

9/16  Star-Advertiser: Federal, isle leaders renew energy goals

9/16  West Hawaii Today: Public Utilities Commission seeks comment

9/16  PBN: HECO down to finalists in LNG developer selection process

9/16  KITV: Aloha state gets a 'C' on renewable energy report card

9/16  KHON: HECO asking Oahu customers again to conserve power

9/16  PBN: First Wind may scrap major solar projects on Oahu if deadline not met

9/16  PBN: Hawaii needs to be cautious in pursuing 100% renewable energy goal

9/16  PBN: Hawaii's Energy Excelerator doubles portfolio with 17 startups

9/16  Civil Beat: Renewable Energy: Let's Make a Deal

9/15  Biofuels Digest: Honolulu City aims for full biodiesel-based mass transit system

9/15  PBN: Blue Planet Foundation gives Hawaii a 'C' for clean energy progress

9/15  PBN: Hawaii working to reduce petroleum fuel use in transportation

9/15  PBN: Public can comment on Hawaiian Electric Co.'s new energy plans

9/15  PBN: Hawaii, Energy Department continue to work together on clean energy

9/15  PBN: Parker Ranch hires former Hawaiian Electric exec Jose Dizon to run Paniolo Power Co.

9/15  Star-Advertiser: Atrractive 'green roof' eases energy usage at Turtle Bay

9/14  Star-Advertiser: Is Hawaiian Electric trying to kill rooftop solar?

9/14  West Hawaii Today: Mahalo to the PUC and HECO

Sep 10

The Senate Committee on Energy and Environment, Senate Committee on Commerce and Consumer Protection, House Committee on Energy & Environmental Protection, and House Committee on Consumer Protection & Commerce have called an informational briefing on Sep. 19:

"The purpose of this informational briefing is to get an update on the impacts of Hawaiian Electric Company’s September 2013 policy changes on solar interconnection, learn more about Hawaiian Electric Company’s future plans for distributed generation, and hear alternative perspectives on resolving the challenges related to the integration of distributed generation.

The following organizations will give presentations:

Hawaiian Electric Company

Hawai`i Solar Energy Association

Hawai`i PV Coalition

The Alliance for Solar Choice

No public testimony will be accepted."



Friday, September 19, 2014


1 p.m.


Conference Room 325

State Capitol

415 South Beretania Street



Sep 08

Local Industry News

9/12  PV Solar Report: Stem distributed storage will strengthen Hawaii grid response

9/12  PBN: More changes at the top for the owner of Hawaii's largest refinery

9/12  Utility Dive: Hawaiian Electric names new CEO

9/11  PBN: New Hawaiian Electric CEO has the right vision, energy industry experts say

9/11  Greentech Media: STEM to install 1MW of networked, behind-the-meter batteries in Hawaii

9/11  PBN: Hawaiian Electric to use energy storage project developed by California startup

9/11  PBN: Major energy initiative at Hawaii's public schools to start late this year

9/11  Utility Dive: HECO to pilot Stem's grid-responsive, behind-the-meter energy storage

9/10  Smart Grid News: What's the future of utilities? Hawaii has one answer

9/10  HPR Bytemarks Cafe: Episode 315: A smarter grid

9/10  Star-Advertiser: Oshima named CEO of Hawaiian Electric Co.

9/10  PBN: Alan Oshima named president, CEO of Hawaiian Electric Co.

9/10  Star-Advertiser: Cutting CO2 emissions critical to saving coral reefs

9/10  Star-Advertiser:  PV system permits plummet on Oahu

9/10  PBN: Major energy initiative at Hawaii's public schools to start late this year

9/9  KHON: Boiler leak caused issues at Waiau plant; power problem remains unresolved

9/9  PBN: Chevron Energy Solutions Hawaii office acquired by national energy firm

9/9  Civilbeat: Have you caught wind of what's missing from HECO's energy plan?

9/8  KITV: HECO asking Oahu to conserve power Monday evening

9/8  Utility Dive: Hawaii utilities call for rogue solar systems to disconnect from grid

9/8  Star-Advertiser: HECO asks customers to conserve electricity

9/8  Star-Advertiser: Bicycle lane on King Street in the works

9/7  KITV: Solar installation still a hot topic

9/7  Star-Advertiser: New transit companies pose risk to consumer protection and safety

9/7  Star-Advertiser: Energy market races past HECO's horse and buggy

9/4  Sustainable Business: Hawaii's auction challenges energy efficiency innovators

Public Utilities Commission

9/8  Blue Planet Foundation filed comments on the Hawaiian Electric Companies' Integrated Demand Resource Portfolio Plan (Docket No. 2007-0341)

9/3  On Thursday, Sep. 3, the PUC issued Decision and Order No. 32281 (Docket No. 2014-0134) giving DBEDT authority to issue Green Infrastructure bonds up to $150 million, as well as authorizing the Green Infrastructure Fee. This financing order will be accompanied by a forthcoming "program order," that establishes the Green Infrastructure Loan Program, also referred to as the GEMS (Green Energy Market Securitization) program.