Think About It: Let The Light In - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

December 8, 2014

Think About It: Let The Light In

‘Tis the season for hope and lights and also for the hope of lights as Hawaiian Electric announced that is being purchased for $4.3-billion by Florida-based NextEra. While deep details have yet to unfold and regulatory clearance might take up to a year to be completed, there is a sense of optimism on many fronts with this purchase. 

One hope is that NextEra will move Hawaii toward a future less dependent on fossil fuels. And while that always sounds good, the reality is that this plan and existing plants need a stronger infrastructure than is currently in place and, here's the big one, it has to make economic sense to the provider. Yes, the consumer finds solace in solar as it can be a real money saver, and that's great, but if the provider of electric services can't make ends meet as more and more people opt to drop off the old grid, two things happen when a utility company must rely on strengthening revenue and net profits to keep shareholders happy.

Either the rest of those using electricity are going to pay more to make up for the solar users, or cost cutting is going to have to be made to make up for dwindling revenues, and those cuts might come in the form of not upgrading ancient equipment. This all could change with an impending sale. Initial statements from NextEra, from its commitment to use cleaner natural gas to its plans to create more large scale grids to provide solar power, bodes well for our environment and our pocketbooks here in Hawaii. Let's hope this new light is bright, clean, and economical sound for Hawaii's consumers as it makes good business sense. Think about it…  

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