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Maui Electric Requests Rate Increase In 2012 To Support Clean Energy Progress And Service Reliability

The requested increase would help cover the operations and maintenance costs of safely and reliably integrating existing and future renewable energy resources into MECO's three isolated, island electrical grids.  Also included are energy storage projects which will help integrate even higher levels of variable resources such as wind and solar, including:

  • A battery energy storage system at MECO's Wailea Substation; and
  • A energy storage system on a distribution circuit in Central Maui.

The increase would also help pay for more than $80 million in investments to be completed in 2011 and 2012 including:

  • Upgrades and improvements to generation facilities on Maui, Lanai and Molokai that will increase efficiency, improve service reliability and help to reduce emissions;
  • Replacement of aging underground electric lines and equipment to increase service reliability in Central, South and West Maui;
  • Upgrades to underground electric lines and equipment that will add capacity to MECO's electrical system; and
  • Installation of fiber optic equipment at the Maalaea Power Plant that will improve communication and data acquisition and provide greater reliability of service.

The PUC is expected to hold a public hearing on the proposed 2012 increase later this year and an evidentiary hearing next year.  An interim increase may be granted within 10 to 11 months following MECO's application; however there is no guarantee of such interim increase.  The timing and amount of any increase is at the discretion of the PUC.

MECO's last increase was a 3.3% interim increase which went into effect in August 2010.

For media inquiries:Kau`i Awai-DicksonCommunications SupervisorMaui Electric Company(808) 872-3263 kaui.awai-dickson@mauielectric.com

For institutional investor inquiries: Shelee KimuraManager, Investor Relations & Strategic PlanningHawaiian Electric Industries, Inc.(808) 543-7384 skimura@hei.com

SOURCE Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc.

Copyright 2011 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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