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Life of the land

  1. 1. 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 Phone: 808-927-0709
  2. 2. Life of the Land * Motion to Intervene * DN 2015-0022 * HECO-NextEra Merger * page 2 Aloha Commissioners: 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.
  3. 3. 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 § 269-7.5." Intervention 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. 1) Timeliness. 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 short-term.
  4. 4. 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 (1974). 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
  5. 5. 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 pending matter. 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
  6. 6. 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- 0036).
  7. 7. Life of the Land * Motion to Intervene * DN 2015-0022 * HECO-NextEra Merger * page 7 Docket Issue LOL MTI Ext SG LNG IC 2008- 0303 Advanced Meter Infrastructure 1/20/09 x 2012-0185 Aina Koa Pono (AKP) 8/20/12 x x 2012- 0099 HELCO Rate Case 11/8/12 x x x x 2012- 0036 HECO Companies IRP 7/1/13 x x x x 2013-0169 Inter-island Cable 7/22/13 x x 2013- 0168 Lana`i Wind 7/22/13 x x 2013- 0393 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 process rights. 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)
  8. 8. 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.
  9. 9. 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 Proceeding. 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.
  10. 10. 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.
  11. 11. 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 the Land. 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
  12. 12. 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 & Fong LLP. RANDALL IWASE, CHAIRPERSON PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION 465 S. King St, Room 103 Honolulu, HI 96813 JEFFREY T. ONO EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR 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 Counsel for 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