News

Interest on converting HELCO in cooperative to help geothermal in Hawaii

Puna Geothermal Power Plant, Big Island, Hawaii (source: betterplace.com)
Francisco Rojas 28 Jan 2015

Hawaiian utility HECO is currently being sold to to Florida-based NextEra Energy yet a group of local residents are trying to turn the firm into a publicly owned cooperative and develop geothermal in order to reduce electricity costs.

Very interesting news emerge from Hawaii, since “A group of Big Island residents who have pushed for more geothermal development and lower electricity rates is exploring the possibility of converting the island’s electric utility, Hawaii Electric Light Co (HECO)., into a publicly owned cooperative in light of the pending sale of the utility’s parent company, Hawaiian Electric Co., to Florida-based NextEra Energy.”

A local newspaper states that the high prices of electricity compared to other neighbouring islands is one of the concerns, alongside more geothermal development in order to tackle this issue.

Details on the steering committee behind the initiative to transform the electric utility into a publicly owned cooperative are scarce and kept under wraps, but a similar idea operates in a neighbouring island, where the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) is in place and ” has often been touted among people in the local energy sector as being more nimble than HECO and able to borrow capital at lower interest rates for renewable energy projects because of its nonprofit status.”

To read more on the issue, please follow the link below.

Source: Civil Beat