Originally published on Ililani Media
A Hawaii Energy Conference like no other Hawaii Energy Conference took place over the past two days on Maui.
The power brokers of the incumbent electric utility were there in force.
Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI) owns Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) which owns Maui Electric Company (MECO).
The head of all three were in attendance: HEI CEO Connie Lau, HECO President Richard Rosenblum and MECO President Sharon Suzuki.
The leadership of the Public Utilities Commission attended. This included all three PUC Commissioners, the Chief Policy Researcher and the Chief Counsel.
Key representatives from the Counties of Kauai, Maui and Hawai’i attended. These three Hawaii Counties are actively engaged in Energy Policy (Honolulu has seldom taken the issue seriously).
And more than attend, these three groups — the utilities, the regulators and the counties –addressed the audience and engaged in dialogue.
About 245 people attended the conference sponsored by the Maui County and the Maui Economic Development Board.
Attendees consisted of 75 women and 170 men. The breakout by region was 73 people from Maui, 104 from other areas of the State, 54 from the rest of the country, 3 from Canada and 11 from Japan; 53 from the public sector, 168 from the private sector and 24 from the non-profit sector. Most of those from the non-profit sector were representatives from energy trade groups and consultants.
The Event was held at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center. The facility is open, airy and has expansive views of the mountains. The site is next to Maui Community College and adjacent to a large solar generation facility.
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