Life of the Land * Motion to Intervene * DN 2015-0022 * HECO-NextEra Merger * page 1
BEFORE THE PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF HAWAII
- - - - - - - In the Matter of the Application of )
HAWAIIAN ELECTRIC COMPANY, INC., ) DOCKET NO. 2015-0022
HAWAII ELECTRIC LIGHT COMPANY, )
INC., MAUI ELECTRIC COMPANY, )
LIMITED, and NEXTERA Energy, INC. )
For Approval of the Proposed Change of )
Control and Related Matters )
LIFE OF THE LAND’S
MOTION TO INTERVENE,
AFFIDAVIT OF HENRY Q CURTIS,
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
HENRY Q CURTIS
VICE PRESIDENT FOR CONSUMER ISSUES
LIFE OF THE LAND
P.O. BOX 37158
Honolulu, HI 96837
Life of the Land * Motion to Intervene * DN 2015-0022 * HECO-NextEra Merger * page 2
Life of the Land (“LOL”) seeks intervention in this docket to protect our interests. We
believe that the proposed merger of the HECO Companies with NextEra Energy will
have a significant impact to multiple sectors of society.1 Life of the Land strongly
believes in accountability, transparency, increased community awareness of - and
involvement in - energy policy and unraveling the mysteries of regulation.
Standard of Review
In the acquisition of Kauai Electric Division by Kauai Island Utility Cooperative in
Docket 2002-0060, the Public Utilities Commission noted,
"HRS § 269-19 gives the commission broad discretionary authority to review Citizens'
sale of KE's assets and the transfer of KE's franchise to KIUC.
In addition, HRS § 269-7(a) gives the commission the power to examine, among other
things, the condition of a public utility, the manner in which it is operated with
reference to the safety or accommodation of the public, the utility's business relations
with other persons, companies, or corporations, and all matters affecting the relations
and transactions between the utility and the public or persons or corporations.
Thus, the commission has authority to examine all transactions that affect or may
affect the public served by the utility.
Since HRS § 269-19 does not contain specific criteria or standards for the
commission to consider in the transfer or assignment of a franchise, the
commission historically, in its review of applications for the sale of public utility assets
and the transfers of certificates of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) and
franchises, pursuant to HRS § 269-19, has utilized the same standards of review found
1 Life of the Land et al re Docket 2015-0011.
Life of the Land * Motion to Intervene * DN 2015-0022 * HECO-NextEra Merger * page 3
at HRS § 269-7.5 for guidance, to wit, that the applicant is "fit, willing, and able
properly to perform the service proposed."
The use of these standards of review, therefore, does not require that the commission
also undertake, among other things, an initial rate review, as set forth under HRS §
This Motion to Intervene is filed according to the requirements of Hawaii
Administrative Rules (“HAR”) §6-61-55: “Intervention 1. (a) A person may make an
application to intervene and become a party by filing a timely written motion in
accordance with sections 6-61-15 to 6-61-24, section 6-61-41, and section 6-61-57,
stating the facts and reasons for the proposed intervention and the position and interest
of the applicant.” Life of the Land ("LOL") is a person as defined by HAR §6-61-2. LOL
will be represented by LOL’s Vice President for Consumer Affairs, Henry Curtis, in
accordance with HAR §6-61-12. Life of the Land is not requesting a hearing on our
Motion to Intervene.
Our motion to intervene is timely. The Commission opened the proceedings on January
29, 2015. Our Intervention was filed on January 29, 2015, which is within twenty days
after the docket was opened.
2) The nature of the applicant's statutory or other right to participate in the hearing.
Life of the Land is hereby petitioning the Commission to become a party. Life of the
Land may have a statutory right to intervene as we are a ratepayer that will be directly
impacted by short-term rate hikes.2 Alternatively, Life of the Land requests that the
Commission admit us as a party.
2 HECO asserts that rates will fall by 20% in 2030 but rates may not fall or even stay level in the
Life of the Land * Motion to Intervene * DN 2015-0022 * HECO-NextEra Merger * page 4
LOL has been serving the communities’ interests in Hawaii for forty years. We have
been accepted by the Commission as an Intervenor or Participant in over forty
regulatory dockets. On September 22, 2000 the LOL Board of Directors approved
continuing to intervene in energy dockets as a means of promoting sustainable policies.
Henry Curtis, Vice-President for Consumer Affairs, is authorized by the LOL Board of
Directors to represent LOL before the PUC in accordance with HRS Section 6-61-12.
The Hawai`i Supreme Court Court ruled in Life of the Land v. Land Use Comm'n, 65
Haw. 166, 177, 623 P.2d 431 (1981) at 439, that "standing requirements should not be
barriers to justice." Similarly, the Court ruled in Citizens for the Protection of the North
Kohala Coastline v. County of Hawaii, 91 Haw. 94, 100, 979 P.2d 1120, 1126 (1999) that
where the interests at stake are in the realm of environmental concerns:
... We have not been inclined to foreclose challenges to administrative
determinations through restrictive applications of standing requirements.
Mahuiki v. Planning Commission, 65 Haw. 506, 512 654 P.2d 874, 878 (1982); Life of
the Land v. Land Use Commission, supra; see also Kepoo v. Kane, 106 Haw. 270, 103
P.3d 939 (2005) and Town v. Land Use Commission, 55 Haw. 545, 548, 524 P.2d 84
These principles were recently restated and strengthened on constitutional grounds in
Sierra Club v. Department of Transportation of the State of Hawai'i ("Sierra Club I”),
115 Hawai'i 299. 319-320,167 P.3d 292 (2007). That less rigorous standing requirements
are applied in environmental cases draws support from the Hawai'i Constitution, Article
XI, Section 9, entitled "Environmental Rights:"
Each person has the right to a clean and healthful environment, as defined by
laws relating to environmental quality, including control of pollution and
conservation, protection and enhancement of natural resources. Any person may
Life of the Land * Motion to Intervene * DN 2015-0022 * HECO-NextEra Merger * page 5
enforce this right against any party, public or private, through appropriate legal
proceedings, subject to reasonable limitations and regulation a s provided by law.
See also, Sierra Club v. Department of Transportation of the State of Hawai'i ("Sierra
Club I"), 115 Hawai'i 299, 319-320,167 P,3d 292 (2007); County of Hawaii v. Ala Loop
Homeowners, 123 Hawai'i 391, 235 P.3d 1103 (2010).
3) The nature and extent of the applicant's property, financial, and other interest in the
Life of the Land is a non-profit Hawaii-based organization. Our members live, work and
recreate in Hawaii. Every energy project has positive and negative economic,
environmental, social, cultural, geographic, taxpayer and ratepayer impacts, and Life of
the Land is concerned with the impacts, externalities and unintended side-effects of
energy projects and programs. Life of the Land believes that we are on a razor’s edge.
Climate change is real, man-made and caused in large part by our energy choices.
Hawai`i has a negative trade balance that exceeds $10 billion (we import $15 billion
worth of goods and services while exporting $3 billion). Energy is the largest sector in
that imbalance. Thus, from multiple perspectives (trade, peak oil, sustainability, and
climate) Life of the Land understands that a switch from fossil fuel to low climate
impact, environmentally-sound, culturally and community friendly indigenous
renewable energy resources is essential. Life of the Land believes that people are part of
the environment and issues like justice and equality are important. Life of the Land
works with community groups throughout the state to increase community
understanding. The current docket could fundamentally alter policy by making key
choices about the path the State will go down from this point forward.
4) The effect of the pending order as to the applicant's interest.
Over our 44 year history. Life of the Land has been involved in more than 40 Public
Utilities Commission dockets including several that have focused on policy.3 Life of the
3 These proceedings include Investigation of Restructuring (1996-0493), MECO Second
Integrated Resource Planning (1999-0004), HECO DSM (2000-0209), HECO Third Integrated
Resource Planning (2003-0253), Distributed Generation (2003-0371), HECO's East Oahu
Life of the Land * Motion to Intervene * DN 2015-0022 * HECO-NextEra Merger * page 6
Land is a party, or has applied to be a party, in several open dockets that may be
impacted by the outcome of this proceeding.
Issue Docket Status
Petition For Declaratory Order Applicant
HawaiiGas importing LNG 2014-0315 Party
Distributed Energy Resources Policies 2014-0192 Intervention Pending
Formal Complaint 2014-0191 Intervention Pending
Power Supply Improvement Plans 2014-0183 Intervention Pending
DBEDT’s Green Infrastructure Loan Program 2014-0135 Party
Na Pua Makani Wind Project 2013-0423 Party
Stage 2 Inter-Island Interconnection Study 2013-0393 Party
HECO Rate Case 2013-0373 Intervention Pending
Oahu-Maui Undersea Transmission Cable 2013-0169 Party
Castle & Cooke Wind Facility 2013-0168 Party
Reliability Standards 2011-0206 Party
Public Benefit Fund 2007-0323 Party
Wheeling 2007-0176 Party
Life of the Land has major concerns and interest including Externalities (“Ext”), Smart
Grids (“SG”), Inter-Island Cables (“IC”) and Liquefied Natural Gas (“LNG”). We have
filed Motions to Intervene listing these specific interests and been admitted as a party in
several dockets, including but not limited to those listed below.
Transmission Project (2003-0417), Third HELCO Integrated Resource Planning (2004-0046),
Statewide DSM (2005-0069), HECO's Campbell Industrial Power Plant (2005-0145),
Renewable Portfolio Standards (2007-0008), HECO Fourth Integrated Resource Planning
(2007-0084), Wheeling (2007-0176), Public Benefit Fund (2007-0323), HECO-Imperium
Biofuels Supply Contract (2007-0346), Renewable Energy Infrastructure Program (2007-0416),
Feed In Tariffs (2008-0273), Advanced Meter Infrastructure (2008-0303), PUC's Integrated
Resource Planning (2009-0108), Kahe 3 Biofuel Contract (2009-0155), Maalaea Biofuel
Contract (2009-0168), HECO-REG Biofuel Contract (2009-0296), HECO-REG Biofuel Contract
(2009-0353), Reliability Standards (2011-0206), East Oahu Transmission Project (2010-0062),
HELCO Rate Case (2012-0099) and HECO Companies Integrated Resource Planning (2012-
Life of the Land * Motion to Intervene * DN 2015-0022 * HECO-NextEra Merger * page 7
Docket Issue LOL MTI Ext SG LNG IC
2012-0185 Aina Koa Pono (AKP) 8/20/12 x x
HELCO Rate Case 11/8/12 x x x x
HECO Companies IRP 7/1/13 x x x x
2013-0169 Inter-island Cable 7/22/13 x x
Lana`i Wind 7/22/13 x x
Stage 2 Cable Studies 12/4/13 x x
2014-0315 HawaiiGas importing LNG 11/5/14 x x
Life of the Land has also been in major dockets outside of the PUC.4
5) Other Means Available Wherein Applicant May Protect His Interest.
There are no other means available to protect LOL’s interests. There is no other avenue
for LOL to impact the decisions made in this Docket.
6) Other Parties Do Not Represent LOL's Interests.
LOL respectfully submits that our interests are unique, can be of great assistance to the
decision-making process, and we seek intervenor status in the exercise of our due
4 Kamoku-Pukele 138-kV Transmission Line (Board of Land and Natural Resources Docket OA-
2801) and Grays Harbor Ocean Energy Co.'s Penguin Bank Wave Farm (Federal Energy
Regulatory Commission (FERC) Docket P-13307)
Life of the Land * Motion to Intervene * DN 2015-0022 * HECO-NextEra Merger * page 8
Community Groups Play an Important Role.
The Consumer Advocate has recognized the critically vital role community groups play
in utility decision making procedures:
"Over the years, unfunded groups have been credited with raising
important public issues to the PUC's attention. For example,
without the persistence and active participation of rural Big Island
residents who were fed up with antiquated multi-party telephone
lines, the PUC may not have ordered GTE Hawaiian Tel to upgrade
all rural areas in the State to single-line service.
Similarly, long-range energy planning (called integrated resource
planning) is in part the result of several parties, many of them
community groups and unfunded, requesting the PUC to act.
Generally, community intervenors have been forced to rely on free
legal and consulting services. Yet, they have infused we so-called
'experts' with new ideas. They have reminded us of the critical
impact of essential utility services on life's basic necessities. With
a modest funding source, these and other groups should be able to
continue and enhance their role. Another situation where [ ] there
are consumer groups with conflicting interests. [sic] At that point,
our office is forced to select and advocate one position.”5
7) LOL's Participation will Assist in the Development of a Sound Evidentiary Record.
LOL offers a unique perspective. We intend to present a proactive case, supported by
expert witnesses and exhibits, as needed or required. We have demonstrated our
expertise in past proceedings. Life of the Land has actively participated in and provided
meaningful input into previous HECO and MECO IRPs, the PUC Reliability Standards
Working Group (RSWG), the RSWG Minimum Load and Curtailment Subgroup. Life of
the Land was a participant in the Hu Honua docket in which the Commission ordered
5 Senate Bill No. 1918 (1997): Presentation of the Department of Commerce and Consumer
Affairs to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection and Information
Technology. February 10, 1997.
Life of the Land * Motion to Intervene * DN 2015-0022 * HECO-NextEra Merger * page 9
that HELCO file a PSIP. Life of the Land was admitted into the most recent HELCO Rate
Case. Life of the Land’s Executive Director Henry Curtis served as the Model Role
Representative to review HECO’s use of the Ventyx Strategist Resource Optimization
tool in the latest IRP docket.
A biography for LOL Executive Director Henry Curtis was filed on June 1, 2011 in
Docket No. 2011-0112 and is incorporated herein by reference.
Life of the Land has relied on a large number of lawyers, engineers and energy policy
people to serve as expert witnesses in previous dockets. An extensive list is found in Life
of the Land's Motion to Intervene in the DGIP Docket 2014-0192 and is incorporated
herein by reference. The list includes Denise Antolini, J.D.; Reb Bellinger, John Crouch,
James Griffin, Dr. John Harrison, Kelly King, Robert King, Representative Cynthia
Thielen and John Whalen.
Life of the Land collaborates with many community groups with similar and overlapping
interests, including Puna Pono Alliance, I Aloha Moloka`i, Friends of Lana`I,
Preserve Pepe`ekeo Health & Environment and the Big Island Community Coalition; all
of which have filed Motions to Intervene in previous Commission proceedings. We
anticipate that the Commission will approve a wide range of intervenors, and we plan to
work with them in a collaborative manner to assist the Commission in developing a
strong record through which reasonable solutions can be developed.
8) LOL's Participation Will Neither Unduly Broaden The Issues Nor Delay This
Our comments, testimonies, expert witnesses and exhibits will be provided so as to
strengthen the ultimate defensibility of any Commission decision in this Docket. We
seek to bring clarity to the issues at hand. While LOL has participated in Dockets in
which other parties have requested seven or more time extensions, we have never
initiated any request to delay a proceeding.
Life of the Land * Motion to Intervene * DN 2015-0022 * HECO-NextEra Merger * page 10
9) LOL's Interests Differ From Those Of Those Of The General Public.
The Consumer Advocate is bound by the law to represent the interests of the general
public, that is, the consumers of utility services. LOL is concerned with overall justice,
equality, externalities, environmental justice, climate justice, social, environmental,
climatic and greenhouse gas impacts.
10) Whether the applicant's position is in support of or in opposition to the relief sought.
We generally oppose to proposed merger but are open to altering or modifying our
position after learning more about the proposal through discovery.
Life of the Land * Motion to Intervene * DN 2015-0022 * HECO-NextEra Merger * page 11
AFFIDAVIT OF HENRY Q CURTIS
Henry Q Curtis, being first duly sworn on oath, deposes and says that:
1. I joined the Life of the Land Board of Directors in July 1994.
2. Since March 1995, I, Henry Q Curtis, have served as the Executive Director of Life of
3. Since January 1996, I, Henry Q Curtis, have served as the Vice President for
Consumer Issues of Life of the Land.
4. My address is Henry Curtis, Life of the Land, P.O. Box 37158, Honolulu, HI 96837.
5. The Life of the Land Board of Directors has designated me to represent Life of the
Land in all proceedings before the Hawai`i Public Utilities Commission.
6. I swear that the statements that I filed in this docket, namely Life of the Land’s
MOTION TO INTERVENE are true and accurate.
Further Affiant Sayeth Naught.
DATED: January 29, 2015, Honolulu, Hawaii.
/s/ HENRY Q CURTIS
HENRY Q CURTIS
VICE PRESIDENT FOR CONSUMER ISSUES
Life of the Land * Motion to Intervene * DN 2015-0022 * HECO-NextEra Merger * page 12
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
The foregoing MOTION TO INTERVENE AND AFFIDAVIT OF HENRY Q CURTIS was
filed by electronic delivered to the Public Utilities Commission. Copies were mailed to
the Consumer Advocate, Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel LLP and Morihara Lau &
RANDALL IWASE, CHAIRPERSON
PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION
465 S. King St, Room 103
Honolulu, HI 96813
JEFFREY T. ONO
DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND CONSUMER AFFAIRS
DIVISION OF CONSUMER ADVOCACY
P. O. Box 541
Honolulu, HI 96809
THOMAS W WILLIAMS
PETER K KIKUTA
Goodsill Anderson Quinn & Stifel LLP
First Hawaiian Center
999 Bishop St, Suite 1600
Honolulu, HI 96813
HAWAIIAN ELECTRIC COMPANY, INC.,
HAWAII ELECTRIC LIGHT COMPANY, INC.,
MAUI ELECTRIC COMPANY, LIMITED
KRIS D MORIHARA, ESQ.
KRIS NAKAGAWA, ESQ.
LAUREN M. IMADA, ESQ.
YVONNE Y. IZU, ESQ.
Morihara Lau & Fong LLP
841 Bishop Street, Suite 400
Honolulu, HI 96813
Counsel for NextEra Energy, Inc.
Dated: January 29, 2015, Honolulu, HI
/s/ HENRY Q CURTIS
HENRY Q CURTIS
VICE PRESIDENT FOR CONSUMER ISSUES