Hawaiian Electric Industries

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Hawaiian Electric Industries
Traded as NYSEHE
S&P 400 Component
HECO power plant at Kahe Point in West Oahu

Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc.. (HEI; NYSEHE) is the largest supplier of electricity in the state of Hawaii, supplying power to 95% of Hawaii's population through its electric utilities: Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc., Hawaii Electric Light Company, Inc. and Maui Electric Company, Limited. In addition, HEI owns a financial institution serving Hawaii, American Savings Bank.[1] (The island of Kauai is the only island in the state not supplied by HEI. Instead, the consumer-owned Kauai Island Utility Cooperative manages the island's electricity.)

HECO, HELCO, and MECO employ more than 2,000 people. Approximately 20,000 Hawaii residents are shareholders of HECO’s parent company, Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI).[2] The company is headquartered in Honolulu. The net income of the company reached 164 million dollars by the end of 2012 with a yearly revenue of 3.4 billion dollars.[3]


Hawaiian Electric Company (often abbreviated HECO, pronounced HEE-coh) incorporated on October 13, 1891.[4] Within about 16 years the utility had 2,500 customers on the island of Oahu. By 1914 HECO had started rural service to the windward side of the island and was marketing electric products like refrigerators and flat irons. By 1937 HECO broke ground on its second power plant, and transmission lines soon crisscrossed Oahu.[5]

War and statehood[edit]

During World War II HECO power plants, now linked to busy military bases, generated more than one million kilowatt hours of electricity each day.

Hawaii became a state in 1959, and by then the entire island of Oahu was electrified. Massive power plants, some still in operation today, came online. HECO flipped the switch on a 116 MW plant in downtown Honolulu in 1954. The state's first reheat steam turbine generator went on line at Kahe on the west coast of Oahu. Today, Kahe is the state's largest plant with a total generating capacity of 650 MW.

Island expansion[edit]

HECO purchased Maui Electric Company (abbreviated MECO and pronounced ME-coh) in 1968. In 1970 HECO also acquired the Big Island's Hilo Electric Light Company (later to be renamed Hawaii Electric Light Company, abbreviated HELCO and pronounced HEL-coh). MECO had expansion plans of its own. In 1988, it acquired the Lanai City power plant on the island of Lanai, and in 1989, Molokai Electric Company on the island of Molokai. Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. (HEI) was created as a holding company for these various utilities in 1983.[1] At the moment,[when?] HECO is developing a self-healing grid in eastern Oahu and Waikiki, to ensure a reliable electrical supply.[6]

On December 4, 2014, NextEra Energy tendered an offer to purchase HEI for $4.3 billion. The sale required approval by the Hawaii Public Utility Commission.[7] On July 18, 2016, it was announced that the merger was cancelled after the State PUC disapproved the deal.[8] The merger included plans to convert HEI's oil-fired generating plants to run on natural gas, which were to use liquified natural gas imported from a British Columbia plant of FortisBC. The upgrades were cancelled as they were dependent upon approval of the merger.[9]


In 2016 HECO produced 8.8 TWh, of which 2.3 TWh were renewable.[10] Most of the power came from oil, using 8.5 million barrels in 2016, down from 10.7 million barrels in 2008.[11]


Oahu: total firm generating capability in 2010 was 1,817 megawatts for 295,282 customers.[2]

HECO Owned Plants (oil) Megawatts
Honolulu 113
Waiau 499
Kahe 651
CIP 120
Independent power producers Megawatts
H-POWER (waste-to-energy) 46
Kalaeloa Partners, L.P. (oil) 208
AES-Hawaii (coal) 180

Maui: total firm generating capability is 290.1 megawatts for 67,489 customers.

MECO Owned Plants (oil) Megawatts
Maalaea 212.1
Kahului 37.6
Lanai 10.4
Molokai 12.01
Hana (Dispersed generation) 2.0
Independent power producers Megawatts
HC&S (hydro, bagasse, coal, recycled oil, oil) 16
Maui Non-firm Generation (as-available) Megawatts
Kaheawa Wind Power (Phase I) 30
Auwahi Wind 21[12]
Makila Hydro .5
Lanai Sustainability Research (PV) 1.2

Big Island: total firm generating capability 291.9 megawatts for 79,813 customers.

HELCO power plants (oil) Megawatts
Hilo 35.5
Puna 36.5
Keahole 80.6
Kanoelehua 21.8
Shipman 15.2
Waimea 8.3
Dispersed generation 4.0
Independent power producers Megawatts
Puna Geothermal Venture 30
Hamakua Energy Partners (naphtha) 60
Non-firm generation (as-available) Megawatts
HELCO’s Lalamilo wind farm 2.3 - Decommissioned and dismantled as obsolete, December 2010
HELCO’s Puueo & Waiau units (hydro) 4.35
Apollo Energy Corp.(wind) 20.5
Wailuku River Hydroelectric 12.1
Hawi Renewable Development (wind) 10.56
Keahole Solar Power (concentrated solar power) .5
Other small producers (wind, hydro, oil) <1

Electric vehicles[edit]

Through a cooperative effort with HECO, High Technology Development Corporation (HTDC), an agency of the State of Hawai’i, initiated the Hawai’i Electric Vehicle Demonstration Project (HEVDP) consortium to develop an electric vehicle industry in Hawai’i.[13] The islands have about 5,000 rechargeable vehicles.[11]

Future plans[edit]

In 2015, Hawaii legislated goals for Renewable Portfolio Standards: [14]

Year RPS %
2020 30%
2030 40%
2040 70%
2045 100%


  1. ^ a b HECO > About Us
  2. ^ a b HECO Power Facts
  3. ^ Finance
  4. ^ Birth Of HECO
  5. ^ Electrifying Oahu
  6. ^ Smart grid project
  7. ^ Chediak, Mark; Goossens, Ehren (4 December 2014). "NextEra Buys Hawaii's Biggest Utility in Green Energy Test". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 23 December 2014. 
  8. ^ https://www.wsj.com/articles/nextera-hawaiian-electric-terminate-merger-bid-1468838067
  9. ^ "Aging Hawaii Plant Upgrades Halted After Failed Merger". Engineering New Record (Volume 277/Number 4). BNP Media. July 15, 2016. p. 14. 
  10. ^ "Clean Energy Facts". HECO. Retrieved 26 April 2017. 
  11. ^ a b "Hawaii’s Clean Energy and Oil Consumption Report Card". 24 April 2017. Retrieved 26 April 2017. 
  12. ^ http://www.semprausgp.com/project/auwahi-wind/
  13. ^ High Technology Development Corporation > About Us
  14. ^ Act 097, HB623 HD2 SD2 CD1, 2015

External links[edit]