Maui to explore making Maui Electric public utility - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Maui to explore making Maui Electric public utility

WAILUKU, Hawaii (AP) - Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa says he wants the county to look into making Maui Electric Co. a public utility.

His comments come as a Florida-based company is trying to acquire Maui Electric's parent company, Hawaiian Electric Industries. Arakawa says NextEra Energy Inc. has no Hawaii roots and that the company's profits wouldn't stay on Maui.

Arakawa told Wailuku newspaper The Maui News in an interview Tuesday that the county will probably hire a consultant to explore possibilities. He says options include buying the utility and forming a co-op like on Kauai or forming a utility to compete with NextEra.

NextEra Vice President and Chief Communications Officer Robert Gould declined to comment.

NextEra and Hawaiian Electric announced a merger agreement in December. The $4.3 billion deal needs approval from regulators.

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