Maui News

Study to Explore Alternatives for Maui Electric Ownership/Model

May 6, 2015, 1:31 PM HST
* Updated May 6, 1:33 PM
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MECO workers, file photo by Wendy Osher.

Maui Electric workers, file photo by Wendy Osher.

By Maui Now Staff

The Mayor’s Office of Economic Development announced today it has posted a Request for Proposals to study the options available for a new electric utility model in Maui County.

The $30,000 analysis is in response to the County’s concerns about the proposed NextEra/Hawaiian Electric Industries merger before the Public Utilities Commission.

The study is intended to look at alternative forms of ownership and alternative utility business models for Maui County.

“We must look at our options, but to do that and have a constructive conversation about the matter we need more information,” said Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa in a press release statement.

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“This study will provide us that information, and will tell us if it would be best to start our own utility, form a co-op as Kauaʻi did, allow the NextEra deal to go through or some other option. We need to make an informed decision as a community,” he said.

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The RFP gives the company or firm with the winning proposal four months to provide a preliminary appraisal of the costs associated with purchasing the electric utility company in its entirety and also certain parts of the utility.

County officials say it also requests a preliminary assessment of the benefits associated with public power and energy cooperative forms of ownership.

In addition, the RFP asks for a preliminary recommendation of the utility structure and ownership option that would best support the transformation of the island grids on Maui, Molokaʻi, and Lānaʻi into near 100 percent renewable energy smart grids and micro-grids.

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The deadline to submit a proposal is 4 p.m. on Friday, June 5, 2015.

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