Friday, September 16, 2011


Mike Champley appointed to the Public Utility Commission

By Henry Curtis

 Former PUC Chair Carlito Caliboso has stepped down from the Hawai`i Public Utility Commission (PUC).  Mike Champley has been appointed by Governor Abercrombie to finish his term.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) held a week-long solar energy conference at the Hawai`i Convention Center in the summer of 2010. I noted that:  “Retired Midwest utility executive and current Maui renewable energy consultant Mike Champley showed up on Tuesday and was roped into being the facilitator for the most exciting panel of the conference featuring three dynamic speakers. He did a fantastic job.”

Mike Champley went to school in Ohio and Indiana, obtaining a B.S. in Electrical Engineering (University of Dayton, 1970), a Masters Degree in Business Administration with concentrations in Public Utility Economics and Regulation and in Finance (Indiana University) and completed doctoral course work in Public Utility Economics and Regulation (also at Indiana University)

Mike Champley has worked for two businesses: Detroit Edison Company (DTE) (1971 -2006) and Kahakuloa Energy Advisors, LLC (2007-)

At Detroit he was hired as an Electrical Engineer (1971), worked in Operations, Planning, Financial and Regulatory Positions (1971 - 1992), was promoted to Vice President, Marketing and Sales in 1992, Senior Vice President in 1997, and was given overall responsibilities for electric and gas rate and regulatory matters in 2002.

Mike Champley has also served positions in the public sector. He joined the Board of Trustees of Landmark College  in 2007-, serving as Co-Chair of Audit and Finance Committees. The New England two-year liberal arts institution of higher education is one of the only accredited colleges in the United States designed exclusively for students with dyslexia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD), and other specific learning disabilities.

He also served in government for the City of Brighton, Michigan, on the City Council, Mayor Pro Tem, and was appointed to Planning Commission and served as Chairman (1984-1991)

He founded Kahakuloa in 2007, registered it in Michigan in 2008 and in Hawai`i in 2010. In Hawai`i, Mr. Champley serves on the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative (HCEI) Working Group, and as a consultant to Blue Planet Foundation and Haiku Design & Analysis (HDA). At the  Hawai`i Public Utility Commission (PUC) he is active in regulatory proceedings involving Feed in Tariffs (FiTs), Reliability Standards, Rule 14H and Integrated Resource Planning.

As a member of the PUC’s Hawaii Reliability Standards Working Group, he gave a presentation on Reliability Metrics at a  September 9, 2011 meeting.

He is scheduled to speak on Interconnection Procedures & Standards at the  2011 Utility Wind Integration Group (UWIG) Solar Integration Workshop  to be held on Maui in October.  

Curtailment is a major issue in Hawai`i. Between 20-40% of the time the utility will not accept wind-based electricity from wind farms.

AP (August 13, 2011): "Renewable power producers should be financially compensated for the times when Hawaiian Electric decides it won’t accept their power onto the grid, said Mike Champley ... 'Curtailment or the threat thereof is so overwhelming that it makes these projects basically unfinanceable. It causes uncertainty of the revenue stream ... If there were more certainty, one could plan or adjust accordingly.'"

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Paying for wind producers useless badly timed surge power by forcible extractions from the ratepayers is a stealth subsidy for an impractical power source. One efficient way for wind to be a power source is to use it to pump water into upland reservoirs, then use hydro as a steady stream of power. Or use subsidized unproven big-capacity batteries. If wind producers are allowed this stealth subsidy that NOBODY VOTED FOR, by appointed cronies now ON OUR PUC! Hawaii's citizens are suckered into overpaying for energy. And distributed power production, on individual homes, is clamped off in favor of the big money interests who want to profit from stealth subsidies like this. Unfeasible without paying for power we can't use? Why not then just .... unfeasible!?

The tax subsidies and PUC and legislative rules concerning solar panels are not stealth subsidies. It's out there for the public to see. The real stealth subsidy is for oil. We have invaded two countries based on an oil pipeline and oil in the ground. We have subsidized the wars with thousands of American lives and trillions of dollars. We spend billions on oversea bases protecting oil fields. We spend billions on carrier groups protecting the oil sea lanes. The tax subsidies and laws passed for solar pale in comparison to the stealth subsidies we spent on oil.

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