Connie Lau is President and CEO of Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI), the utility founded in 1891 that serves 95% of the state of Hawaii, as well as Chairman of American Savings Bank, the third largest financial institution in the state. HEI is a holding company for both.
In conversation with Regina Mayor, KPMG’s Global and U.S. Head of Energy, Lau shares how she balances the oversight of these two companies that are similar in some ways – both highly regulated and essential - and yet vastly different in others. Add to that the fact that they run on volcanic islands in the middle of the Pacific, and several unique challenges emerge.
Topics discussed include:
- The unique challenges of managing separate island grids to balance supply and demand
- Why the weather and geography of Hawaii favor the use of drones and other new technologies
- The phased approach to increase today’s 28% renewable energy to a target 100% by 2045, as well as utility sector impacts of meeting carbon neutrality by that same year
- Innovative means that encourage rooftop solar adoption that helped make Hawaii the per capita rooftop solar leader, at a rate of 20X greater than the next state
- Specifics behind the pioneering performance-based rate-making process
- How strong federal partnerships helped provide a coordinated response to COVID, elevating the essential needs of electricity workers to that of other frontline workers.
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the interviewees and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of KPMG LLP