Source: Hawaii PUC
The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) announced four major decisions and orders today that collectively provide key policy, resource planning, and operational directives to the Hawaiian Electric Companies (HECO Companies).
The orders require the HECO Companies to develop and implement major improvement action plans to aggressively pursue energy cost reductions, proactively respond to emerging renewable energy integration challenges, improve the interconnection process for customer-sited solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, and embrace customer demand response programs.
The PUC’s guidance and direction to the HECO Companies were outlined in the following decisions and orders:
- Integrated Resource Planning (Docket No. 2012-0036, Order No. 32052, “IRP Order”) – which rejected the HECO Companies’ Integrated Resource Plan submission, and, in lieu of an approved plan, has commenced other initiatives to enable resource planning and proffered a white paper entitled, “Commission’s Inclinations on the Future of Hawaii’s Electric Utilities.” The white paper outlines the vision, strategies, and regulatory policy changes required to align the HECO Companies’ business model with customers’ changing expectations and state energy policy; and provides specific guidance for future energy planning and project review, including strategic direction for future capital investments;
- Reliability Standards Working Group (Docket No. 2011-0206, Order No. 32053, “RSWG Order”) – which makes various rulings regarding the final work product of the working group, and provides the PUC’s observations and perspectives regarding integrating utility-scale and distributed renewable energy resources in a reliable and economic manner; and directs the HECO Companies, and in some cases, the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, to take timely actions to lower energy costs, improve system reliability, and address emerging challenges to integrate additional renewable energy;
- Policy Statement and Order Regarding Demand Response Programs (Docket No. 2007-0341, Order No. 32054, “Demand Response Policy Statement”) – which provides specific guidance concerning the objectives and goals for demand response programs, and requires the HECO Companies to develop a fully integrated demand response portfolio that will enhance system operations and reduce costs to customers; and
- Maui Electric Company (MECO) 2012 Test Year Rate Case (Docket No. 2011-0092, Order No. 32055, “MECO Order”) – which accepted the PUC consultant’s report reviewing MECO’s System Improvement and Curtailment Reduction (SICR) plan and directs MECO to file a Power Supply Improvement Plan to address the SICR plan’s shortcomings.
The HECO Companies are comprised of Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc. (HECO), serving the island of Oahu; Maui Electric Company, Limited (MECO), serving the islands of Maui, Lanai and Molokai; and Hawaii Electric Light Company, Inc. (HELCO), serving Hawaii Island.