Saturday, July 13, 2013


HECO Speak

by Henry Curtis

On July 12, 2013 the 5th Annual Hawai`i Clean Energy Day was held in Honolulu. 

HECO’s Executive Vice President Robbie Alm stated: “I appreciated the Big Bad Utility intro from  Ben[Sullivan]. We most certainly are that.” He then discussed the inter-island cable, NIMBYism, ratepayer impacts, and renewable energy penetration levels.

Inter-island Cable

DBEDT Energy Administrator Mark Glick (July 12, 2013):

“DBEDT has long understood the potential to significantly increase the State’s amount of renewable energy and to create economic benefits for ratepayers through coordinated joint efforts and operations of an O`ahu-Maui Grid. This could be achieved by exporting more efficiently produced Oahu generation to displace more expensively Maui generation.

And through the PUC’s newly released dockets today, the market has a chance to inform us on how to minimize risk, make best use of existing infrastructure and establish the most efficient and cost effective grid for the 21st century.

Failure to act on this front isn’t an option. 

We’re not  going to accept that. 

We will not allow our engine for economic transformation to hit a brick wall. Without interconnection, grid modernization and more efficient power plants using cheaper cleaner fuels, our renewable energy dreams will literally be curtailed.” [ ]

“There’re broader policy reasons why the State has determined that interconnection makes sense. You know ultimately our long term goal is to has a lot to do with geothermal and firm power, firm renewable energy. And an Oahu-Maui grid tie is a first step in providing that linkage and there’s also the whole notion of how that will stabilize and create a broader grid.”

Robbie Alm (July 12, 2013): 

"What we said is that under certain scenarios we don’t need the cable. We also said, that you should do the cable bid, back to the cost equation. Because I think that was Mina’s point earlier,  we could get to 100% renewable if we don’t care what the cost is.

I mean, you know just, you could biofuel everything is sight and you would get 100% renewable and the bills would go through the roof. So it comes down to cost.  What we said in the IRP was, do the cable bids, because, lets see what energy comes to us through the cable. And  let’s look at the cost of that. And then let’s look at the cost of generating on Oahu.  And then let’s compare. [ ]

It’s not a cable or no cable. And I think in the end the differences between us and DBEDT are not really very high because we both want to see the cable bids go out, we both want to see a comparison of energy."


Robbie Alm (January 22, 2011): "I like to suggest we all watch out for two things. One is NIMBYism. Everybody love renewable energy until it comes to them next door"

Robbie Alm (May 2, 2011):  "Adoption vs. NIMBYISM"

Robbie Alm (July 12, 2013): “You know at some point we have to stop saying, discussing hard problems means you’re against renewable energy.  GIVE ME A BREAK! 

Hawai`i is so far down the path to renewable energy, we need to be able to freely discuss the problems of resources and options and costs in a very open matter. Not making people feel like they shouldn’t discuss those.”

Renewable Energy Penetration Levels

Robbie Alm (July 12, 2013): “The folks on the Big Island would undoubtedly want you to know at today they are at 46.7% renewable. So Big Island is up way ahead not just in the State but in the United States of America. I don’t think you will find another place that is operating today  at 45% renewable.”

U.S. Energy Information Administration: “In 2011, half of Maine's net electricity generation came from renewable energy resources, with 25 percent from hydroelectricity, 21 percent from wood, and 4.5 percent from   wind.   

Ratepayer Costs

HECO IRP (June 28, 2013): Rates will rise until liquefied natural gas (LNG) is imported in 2018.

Robbie Alm (July 12, 2013): “We’ll reduce bills by 20% by year 2020. I mean that’s our goal. That’s the one we’ve talked about.  That’s what we are going to try to get to. But that means being very selective in the renewables you get based on price.” 

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Hey HECO...tell me again about the Aina Koa Pono deal. Let's see...we price the energy based on oil at $200/barrel. Then we promote the concept although the technology has never been proven on the scale proposed. Then we require rate payers on all islands to pay the bill for he energy that goes to the Big Island. Then we....oh come don't really think we believe a word you say, do you?

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