Regulatory Proceedings

Since 1995, HREA has actively intervened in over twenty PUC dockets representing all issues related to promoting the interests of independent power producers particularly the interests of renewable energy projects. HREA is recognized by all members of the legislature and throughout the state government as a strong voice advocating the interests of its constituency and pushing for PUC rulings to keep the utility’s interests balanced in these areas.

Due to HREA’s credibility over the years in these dockets, HREA is consistently granted intervener status in dockets related to these interests. HREA files position papers and actively participates in the hearings and procedures and is very familiar with these processes and the history of electric utility regulation in the state wherever policy has impacted the interests of the independent renewable energy power producers, and distributed generation providers.

Notable rulings include:

  1. Opening of the Distributed Generation (“DG”) market to renewables.  The Hawaiian Electric Company (“HECO”) was granted limited access to enter the Combined Heat and Power (“CHP”) market, but subsequently withdrew their proposed CHP tariff;
  2. HREA subsequently worked in follow-on dockets with HECO and the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (“KIUC”) to craft fair and non-discriminatory interconnection requirements and stand-by service charge tariffs.  In the case of HECO, there are currently no standby charges for renewable DG;”
  3. The utilities must now acquire new generation resources via competitive bidding processes unless granted a waiver by the Commission.  HECO has subsequently short-listed several new renewable projects for Oahu in a recent 100 MW RFP for “as-available” renewables. Note: KIUC had actually sought competitive bids for “as-available” renewables in advance of the Commission’s ruling on competitive bidding;
  4. In the demand-side management (energy efficiency) docket, HREA sought to transfer the responsibility for demand-side management (“DSM”) programs to a third party entity.  The Commission agreed, and with authority granted by the Legislature (which HREA supported), a Public Benefits Fund (“PBF”) was established;
  5. In the PBF docket, the Commission selected Science Applications International Corporation (“SAIC”) to administer the PBF.  SAIC is now under contract to provide energy efficiency services, which include a number of classic DSM programs, and one (previously established by HECO) to promote solar water heating systems;
  6. In the Renewable Portfolio Standards (“RPS”) docket, HREA worked with HECO and other Parties to establish the RPS framework, which includes a penalty for non-compliance.  The RPS docket led to a follow-on docket, the Renewable Energy Infrastructure Program (“REIP”) which includes an incentive for HECO RPS compliance.  The incentive, in the form of a surcharge to pay for utility investment to support the increased use of renewables, is under review by the Commission;
  7. In the Net Energy Metering (“NEM”) docket, HREA worked with the utilities and other Parties to increase the customer-generator size from 50 kW to 100 kW and the system penetration (subscription) limit from 0.5% to 1.0% of the utility’s peak load.  HREA also; (i) reached agreement with HECO to increase system penetration to 4% on Maui and the Big Island, and (ii) working with the utilities on pilot programs for NEM systems up to 500 kW;
  8. As an output of Pay As You Save® (“PAYS®) docket, HREA worked with HECO to craft a PAYS®-like program.  After two years of operation, HECO is now preparing a final evaluation, as the program is to be transferred to SAIC;
  9. In response to the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative (“HCEI”), established between State of Hawaii (“SOH”) and the U. S. Department of Energy (“USDOE”), the Commission opened the following dockets: Feed-In Tariffs (“FiT”), Decoupling, Advanced Metering Infrastructure (“AMI”), PV Host and Modifications to the Framework for Integrated Resource Planning (“IRP”). HREA, as an Intervenor on all these dockets, is well-position to influence the outputs, the first of which is an Interim Decision and Order, that there will be FiTs for Photovoltaics (“PV”), Concentrating Solar Power (“CSP”), wind and in-line hydro.

HREA can be your voice at the Hawaii Public Utility Commission to:

  • identify and seek consensus on issues of interest to our members that can be addressed via regulatory actions,
  • track Commission dockets,
  • identify and seek consensus on participating in specific dockets,
  • file motions to intervene and work with other Parties to define issues and key docket tasks and timelines,
  • participate in discovery tasks such workshops and formal information requests to the utility and other Parties,
  • prepare and file testimonies,
  • seek consensus among other Parties including settlement discussions,
  • participate in Commission hearings,
  • prepare and file post-hearing Opening and Reply Briefs,
  • participate in Commission-directed post-hearing discussions, and
  • provide and update timely status of all docketed activities

Links to Regulatory Resources:

Hawaii Public Utilities Commission: http://puc.hawaii.gov/

Hawaii Public Utilities Commission Document Management System (DMS):
http://dms.puc.hawaii.gov/dms/

Status of Relevant Dockets at the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission

The following is a sample of a docket status chart that we provide weekly to HREA Platinum and Gold members and monthly to HREA Silver members.

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