- Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI) and NextEra Energy want the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to deny a request by Hawaii Gas for documents or explanations about NextEra’s proposed $4.3 billion acquisition of HEI, citing the fact that Hawaii Gas is a business competitor.
- Hawaii Gas is one of 28 intervenors in the regulatory proceeding that will lead to hearings that will be conducted by the PUC at the end of November and, ultimately, a June 2016 decision on whether to approve the acquisition. The Governor of Hawaii, several state agencies, and multiple intervenors have declared opposition to the deal, citing NextEra's failure to offer details about its plans for HEI.
- In response to the state Consumer Adovcate’s public declaration against the merger earlier this week for the same reason, NextEra announced again that the deal would result in customer savings and economic benefits for Hawaii of almost $1 billion in the first five years after it closes.
The Consumer Advocate’s official filing informed the PUC it had concluded the acquisition is not in the best interests of the public. Its conclusion was based on the facts that NextEra has failed to clearly explain what benefits its purchase of HEI would bring to consumers and provided “faulty calculations” that overstate benefits.
A veteran wind industry executive with extensive experience with NextEra confided to this reporter that the company has a history of reluctance to detail its future plans publicly.
Utility Dive's interviews and study of media reports revealed no evidence of unqualified support for the merger among the 28 intervenors, a conclusion confirmed by similar Honolulu Star Advertiser and Hawaii Tribune Herald informal surveys.
One official intervenor, who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the ongoing proceeding, put the count at 17 intervening parties opposed, 9 neutral, and 2 proposing alternatives.