Establishes a regulatory structure for the installation and implementation of an interisland high voltage electric transmission cable system and for the construction of on-island transmission infrastructure. Construction of the undersea cable could harm fragile ecosystems and endangered species. Per Booz Allen report, cost of constructing the undersea cable is estimated to be $800 million and climbing. Very expensive undersea cable would enrich HECO, while possibly harming ratepayers by raising residential electricity prices and imposition of a cable surcharge, and with no guarantee of a future reduction in electricity prices. Rep Thielen’s floor speech: (1) setting up a new cable company regulated by the PUC requires Congressional approval first; (2) bill’s plain language makes it clear that this would be a risk-free venture for HECO; they would recoup all their costs, even if the venture doesn’t do well. Rep Riviere’s floor speech: there is no island currently generating so much surplus electricity that it can be shared with other islands.
Contact Repthielen@capitol.hawaii.gov Excerpt from Capitol TV