Fortnightly Magazine - February 1 2020

What Hawaii Tells Us

Status Quo to Status Whoa

In the event of a catastrophic typhoon, so much of Hawaii's critical infrastructure is situated at sea level. The status quo is therefore risky to stick with.

Federal Stimulus

Time to Bring Out the Secret Sauce Again?

Smartening the grid over the last decade-plus has been a great achievement. And one that we owe in large part to the stimulating effect of the ARRA.

Visiting Hawaiian Electric

Unique Renewable Goals

Perhaps the highest of the high points of visiting Hawaiian Electric and Hawaii's Public Utilities Commission was when Commission chair Jay Griffin announced during the pre-hearing conference we attended that "the Mitnicks" of Public Utilities Fortnightly were sitting in, as welcome guests of the Commission. (One Mitnick had flown in from Washington, D.C., the other from Tokyo.) Or perhaps when we watched the moving Hawaiian blessing of the West Loch Solar Project of Hawaiian Electric and the U.S. Navy.

Hawaiian Electric: Colton Ching

SVP for planning and technology

“Our electric supply plans are aggressive. They’re forward leading within the industry and there does not exist technology today at this moment in time that will meet all of our needs over the next 20 or 30 years.”

Hawaiian Electric: Scott Seu

SVP for public affairs

“If you’re going to operate a business here in Hawaii for 20 years or so, you will be expected by the community to become a part of it, to be able to engage on an ongoing basis.”

Hawaiian Electric: Jack Shriver

Director for Generation Project Development

“Our islands are relatively small, and the acreage footprint is going to start to become a more contentious issue. We’re going to need to look for technologies that don’t use up as much of our precious resources.”

Hawaiian Electric: Christian Whitney

Director for Pole Infrastructure Enterprise

“In order for anyone to accomplish their sustainability goals or for Hawaiian Electric to accomplish our reliability goals, the future is all in the telecom and the technology.”

Hawaiian Electric: Yoh Kawanami

Co-director for Customer Energy Resources

“Community Based Renewable Energy is where you have a solar farm but people that live in a condo or have an odd-shaped roof may be able to invest in those panels and get a bill credit as if they have rooftop solar.”