Maui County to Attend National Power Conference

June 8, 2015, 3:36 PM HST · Updated June 8, 3:37 PM
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hei nexteraBy Maui Now Staff

Maui County delegates are heading to Minneapolis, Minnesota, to attend the American Public Power Association National Conference to further explore the possibility of running a county electric utility.

The APPA is a collection of more than 2,000 community-owned electric utilities, serving more than 48 million people–about 14 percent of the nation’s electricity consumers. The public power utilities, operated by local governments to provide communities with reliable, responsive, not-for-profit electric service, are directly accountable to the people they serve through local elected or appointed officials.

The APPA’s 2015 National Conference, the association’s largest event of the year, is an opportunity to connect with hundreds of public power leaders and policymakers from across the country.

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After hearing how Maui County wants to go 100 percent renewable, putting out a Request for Proposals to study the current utility system, delegates were invited to the APPA conference.

The Maui County delegation consists of members of Corporation Counsel and the Department of Management, lead by Managing Director Keith Regan.

“We’re very excited to talk to other municipalities about how they are managing their own utilities, what the challenges are and how their models could benefit our community,” Regan said. “The fact that there will be so many people here who have already taken the steps to become more energy independent presents a huge learning opportunity for us. Hopefully, we come back with some great ideas and make some important connections.”

The Mayor’s Office of Economic Development posted the RFP last month due to concerns about the NextEra/Hawaiian Electric Industries merger decision before the public utilities commission and how it will affect area residents and businesses.

The study will look at alternative forms of ownership and the alternative utility business models for Maui County’s electric company.

For more information about the study, contact the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development at 270-710.

To find out more about the American Public Power Association, go online.

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