Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI) shareholders have approved the merger agreement with NextEra Energy announced December 3, 2014.
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"We're extremely pleased that our shareholders, many of whom are Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light customers, have shown their strong support for this historic partnership by approving the proposed merger," said Jeff Watanabe, HEI's chairman of the board.
Of the shares voted, approximately 90 percent were in favor of the merger. HEI is required under Hawaii law to obtain supermajority approval from 75 percent of its outstanding shares. Hawaii is the only state with such a high approval requirement for a merger.
The merger will bring together two industry leaders in clean and renewable energy. Hawaiian Electric has put Hawaii on the leading edge of clean energy nationally, successfully integrating rooftop solar with 12 percent of its residential customers and helping meet 21 percent of customer electricity needs from renewable energy resources.
NextEra Energy has developed, built and operates one of the nation's most modern grid networks and is the world's largest producer of renewable energy from the wind and sun. NextEra Energy supports and will help accelerate Hawaiian Electric's plans to lower electric bills, triple distributed solar – including rooftop solar – and achieve a 65 percent renewable portfolio standard (RPS) by 2030.
This week Governor David Ige signed a bill into law that set a goal of 70 percent RPS by 2040 and 100 percent RPS by 2045 for the state—goals which Hawaiian Electric and NextEra Energy have each stated they fully support.
NextEra Energy and Hawaiian Electric Company, Hawaii Electric Light Company and Maui Electric Company Limited (collectively Hawaiian Electric), subsidiaries of Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI), in January filed an application with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) requesting approval of the proposed merger involving Hawaiian Electric. ■