The Public Utilities Commission granted all 28 interested parties access to the decision on whether to approve the sale of Hawaiian Electric Industries to Juno Beach, Fla.-based NextEra Energy Inc.
The state Energy Department, Hawaii Gas, solar lobbying groups and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1260 were some groups approved by the PUC in an order Monday.
HEI, the parent company for the state’s three major utilities, and NextEra Energy filed a joint application with the PUC on Jan. 29, asking for approval of the $4.3 billion sale.
As intervenors in the application, the groups can pose questions and file information requests which NextEra and HEI are required to respond.
The PUC said the variety of groups involved would better prepare the commission for making its decision about the sale.
“The commission finds that it is in the public interest to ensure that a broad spectrum of interests are represented in the proceeding,” said the PUC in the order.
The commission granted intervenor status to: Renewable Energy Action Coalition of Hawaii, Hawaii Island Energy Coop, Kauai Island Energy Coop, Hawaii Water Service Co., Ka Lei Maile Alii Hawaiian Civic Club, Maui County, Sunedision, Hawaii Solar Energy Association, Friends of Lanai, Puna Pono Alliance, Hawaii County, Ulupono Initiative, AES Hawaii, Blue Planet Foundation, SunPower Corp., Tawhiri Power, Hawaii PV Coalition, Pani-olo Power Co., The Gas Co., Hawaii Renewable Energy Alliance, SunEdison LLC, the state Office of Planning, Sierra Club, Hina Power Corp. and the Honolulu Board of Water Supply.
The PUC also conditionally approved The Alliance for Solar Choice with the requirement that the group obtains an attorney that passed the Hawaii bar.
HECO and NextEra opposed giving intervenor status to all of the groups except the Hawaii Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, the state Office of Planning, County of Hawaii and County of Maui.