To Chair Morita and PUC commissioners:
We support your recent decision to send a strong message to the Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO), rejecting their Integrated Resource Planning Report and setting a deadline of 120 days for them to develop a new plan to move Hawaii towards a clean energy future.
Hawai`i is uniquely vulnerable to the effects of sea level rise and ocean acidification caused by fossil fuel emissions. These environmental concerns, coupled with the pressure of rising oil prices, have created a consensus for clean energy in Hawai`i. Two statewide polls over the last year demonstrated that achieving energy independence through local, clean energy sources is a priority for a majority of Hawai`i residents. This included the finding that 94% of Hawai`i residents support an increase in rooftop solar installations.
Hawai`i has the opportunity to lead the world in the development of a modern, efficient, clean energy grid, yet HECO has only perpetuate our dangerous and outdated dependence on imported oil. To stay relevant and serve our community, HECO must embrace the new opportunities that distributed generation, energy storage, and smart grid technology offers our island.
We are deeply concerned that HECO ignored the directive you gave almost a year ago to come up with a sustainable business model. We support your recommendation that HECO’s new business model should focus on facilitating clean energy, rather than generating electricity from imported fossil fuel.
To that end, we are asking you to ensure that HECO's plan sets aggressive milestones in these three priority areas:
- technical upgrades to the grid that will allow the increased use of renewable energy by HECO, including the interconnection of distributed generation such as rooftop solar
- retiring existing fossil fuel plants
- diminishing the curtailment of existing renewable energy generators
Now is the time to hold HECO accountable to clean up our grid. For the sake of our keiki, our community, and our environment, we are joining with you to hold HECO publicly accountable to come up with a plan by August 26th, 2014.