NextEra Energy Inc. and Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. (HEI)—two companies with substantial renewable energy resources—agreed on Dec. 3 to combine in a transaction valued at roughly $4.3 billion.
Currently, NextEra Energy’s principal subsidiaries include Florida Power & Light Co. (the third-largest electric utility in the U.S.), and NextEra Energy Resources (North America’s largest producer of renewable energy from the wind and sun). Adding HEI to the fold gives it a company that has successfully integrated rooftop solar from 11% of its customers and helped the state of Hawaii achieve a 20% renewable energy portfolio.
HEI serves about 450,000 customers through Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric, and Hawaii Electric Light. The company also owns American Savings Bank, which is one of Hawaii’s largest financial institutions, with 56 branches and 1,200 employees. HEI intends to spin off the banking assets, creating an independent publicly traded company, immediately prior to the closing of the NextEra Energy transaction.
HEI will continue to operate under its current name and continue to be headquartered in Honolulu. It says no involuntary reductions to its workforce are expected as a result of the transaction for at least two years after close and adds that it will honor all of its union labor agreements.
“In NextEra Energy, Hawaiian Electric is gaining a trusted partner that can help the company accelerate its plans to achieve the clean energy future we all want for Hawaii,” said Connie Lau, HEI’s president and CEO, in a statement announcing the deal. “While our goals are among the most ambitious in the nation, including increasing renewables to 65%, tripling solar, and lowering customer bills 20% by 2030, we are confident that by leveraging both NextEra Energy and Hawaiian Electric’s expertise and the additional financial resources that NextEra Energy brings, we can meet these targets even sooner.”
NextEra Energy and HEI expect the transaction, which has been unanimously approved by both companies’ boards of directors, to be completed within approximately 12 months.
—Aaron Larson, associate editor (@AaronL_Power, @POWERmagazine)