After Hawaiian Electric, Maui Ponders New Utility

meco-by-wendy-osherMaui Mayor Alan Arakawa said he is considering turning Maui Electric Co. into a publicly owned utility.

Arakawa said making MECO a public utility would help Maui adopt renewable energy resources at a faster pace and save customers money.

“We have come to the conclusion that we have to start looking at this thing very seriously as to what our potential is in actually investing and creating our own utility,” Arakawa said in an interview with the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

Maui is the second of Hawaiian Electric Industries’ three service areas looking at possibly stepping out from underneath the HEI umbrella.

A group on Hawaii island said in February it is considering turning Hawaii Electric Light Co. into a cooperative.

The steps toward energy independence on Maui and Hawaii island were prompted by the potential sale of Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. — parent company of MECO, HELCO and Hawaiian Electric Co. on Oahu — to Florida-based NextEra Energy Inc. for $4.3 billion.

Read More…

Obama: Adios To The Cuban Embargo


MIAMI, Fl. (AP) — The United States and Cuba have agreed to establish diplomatic relations and open economic and travel ties, marking the most significant shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island in decades, American officials said Wednesday.

The announcement comes amid a series of new confidence-building measures between the longtime foes, including the release of American Alan Gross, as well as a swap for a U.S. intelligence asset held in Cuba and the freeing of three Cubans jailed in the U.S.

President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro were to separately address their nations around noon Wednesday. The two leaders spoke by phone for more than 45 minutes Tuesday, the first substantive presidential-level discussion between the U.S. and Cuba since 1961.

Read More…

Summit Brings Together Global Green Banks


A two-day International Green Bank Summit concluded Nov. 20 with international and U.S.-based public-private financing organizations coming together to discuss best practices, share technical expertise and to strengthen the growing “Green Bank” network.

NEW YORK, Ny. (press release) – The purpose of the summit was to discuss how to advance emerging clean energy markets by harnessing commercial practices, mobilizing private sector participation, and adopting a common framework, easily understood by private sector partners and the public-at-large.

The Green Banks represented at the summit, which was hosted by NY Green Bank, collectively expect to deploy over US$15B in capital for investments in clean energy and energy efficiency projects, which could be leveraged to over US $40B total investment into global and local clean energy capital markets over the next five years.

Read More…