Leaders in Proposed Energy Merger to Speak at Maui Conference

March 14, 2015, 8:00 AM HST · Updated March 14, 9:01 AM
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maui energy conferenceBy Maui Now Staff

Leaders from the energy companies that have proposed a historic merger, Hawaiian Electric Co. and NextEra Energy, will be kicking off the Maui Energy Conference + Exhibition on Wednesday, March 25, at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center.

President Eric Gleason of NextEra Energy Transmission LLC, and HECO President and CEO Alan Oshima are slated to deliver the keynote addresses for the three-day conference.

Last year in December, the companies announced the purchase of Hawaiian Electric Industries by NextEra for $4.3 billion. The proposed merger is pending approval by the Hawaiʻi Public Utilities Commission.

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HEI president and CEO Connie Lau described the merger as a “transformational opportunity” in transitioning Hawaiʻi’s energy utilities to green alternatives.

NextEra is the largest supplier of wind and solar power in North America, both of which are abundant but underutilized resources in the state of Hawaiʻi.

Gleason says his company has invested billions in clean energy development and has the know-how to bring it to Hawaiʻi. NextEra is about 14 times larger than Hawaiian Electric in earnings and total assets. The merger will give the larger company the opportunity to bring liquefied natural gas to Hawaiʻi as an alternative to diesel fuel, while developing solar and wind power alternatives.

During the conference, the key players in the merger will be exploring the evolving role of the electric utility through the eyes of the customer. Panels of national experts will discuss emerging trends in the energy industry and public policies that shape customer choices. Exhibitions will provide networking opportunities to attendees who want to grow their business, or connect and collaborate with others in their sector.

The final day of the conference will offer two optional workshops on sustainable energy alternatives–a tour of Kaheawa Wind Farm and a tour of the Smart Grid Demonstration Project of JumpSMARTMaui hosted by Hitachi Ltd.

Visit the conference website for more information or to register.

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