HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and the Big Island's Helco, have union contracts that expire at the end of this month.
The international brotherhood of electrical workers, Local 1260, has a strike authorization vote Thursday. As always, a strike authorization vote does not automatically mean a strike, nor does a contract expiration date automatically foretell one. It all depends on how contract talks are going.
While we're talking about the electrical company, the state public utilities commission has done something important. They have approved a price structure for independent parties selling power to the grid.
Hawaiian Electric industries already has third-party suppliers: the Maui Wind Farm, Oahu's Kalaeloa partners, and the Honolulu city government's trash-burning H-Power.
There will be a lot more third-party providers and that need uniform pricing. The PUC places outside providers into three groups: the little guy with solar panels on his roof, the really big guys like a biofuels plant, and the in-the-middle providers, including wind and wave and larger solar. To do a business plan you need some idea what you can make, and this helps with that.