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Hawaiian Electric marks 125 years of serving Hawaii

HONOLULU, Oct. 13, 2016 - Hawaiian Electric Company today marked 125 years of serving the people of Hawaii, providing the energy to fuel the state's growth and powering its emergence as a leader in the adoption of renewable energy.

Hawaiian Electric Company, Ltd. was registered to do business by the Kingdom of Hawaii and was subsequently incorporated on Oct. 13, 1891.

Today, Hawaiian Electric and its subsidiaries, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light, lead the nation in renewable energy. Currently, renewable resources are used to generate 23 percent of the electricity on the islands' grids and are expected to reach nearly 50 percent by 2020, putting Hawaiian Electric well ahead of the targets set by the state and on course to achieve Hawaii's 100 percent renewable energy goal by 2045.

"We are proud of our 125 years of service and are committed to Hawaii's clean energy goals. We will honor our past and retain our values but are transforming to help our customers meet the challenges and opportunities provided by technology in renewable energy, at a reasonable cost," said Alan Oshima, Hawaiian Electric president and CEO.

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A History of Service and Innovation

Throughout its history, Hawaiian Electric has played an integral role in the state's growth and development.

On Dec. 7, 1941, as Japanese war planes strafed the Waiau Power Plant at Pearl Harbor with machine gun fire, 13 workers stayed at their posts to safely shut down the plant. "The plant is under attack - secured everything," the plant's log book recorded.

In 1949, the first high-voltage transmission line was built across the Koolau mountain range to serve the growing Windward side of Oahu.

And since the 1970s, Hawaiian Electric has been in the vanguard of research and development of renewable technologies, including wind turbines and electric vehicles. Its successful wind turbine pilot projects in Kahuku in the 1980s and use of electric vehicles in its fleet for more than 40 years are examples of how the company has built on this experience to become a nationally recognized leader in renewable energy technology.

For a detailed historical timeline, go to:

125 Acts of Aloha

To commemorate the anniversary, over the next year Hawaiian Electric will give back to the community with 125 Acts of Aloha. These charitable donations and service projects will benefit agencies and programs committed to building a more sustainable future for Hawaii.

Throughout the next 12 months, Hawaiian Electric will support non-profit and community organizations with more than 125 charitable contributions and service projects. These efforts will focus on three key areas:

  • Education, especially in STEM, science, mathematics, engineering and technology;
  • Family and community support;
  • Environmental stewardship

Hawaiian Electric kicked off the campaign earlier this month at its Clean Energy Fair at Kahala Mall by presenting donations of $10,000 to Trust for Public Lands, $10,000 to the Institute for Human Services, and $5,000 to Sustainable Coastlines.

Over the years, Hawaiian Electric has contributed millions of dollars and countless hours of volunteer work to community organizations that benefit local communities and the environment. In 2014 and 2015, the company contributed $1.5 million to 200 non-profit and community organizations and its employees and their ohana contributed 27,000 volunteer hours through community service projects, many spearheaded by their employees.

"All of us at Hawaiian Electric have worked hard through all of these years to help make these islands a better place to live and raise our families," Oshima said. "It's been that way for 125 years and will continue for generations to come."

About Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO)
For more than 100 years, Hawaiian Electric Company has provided the energy that has fueled the islands' development from a Hawaiian kingdom to a modern state. Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc. (HECO), and its subsidiaries, Maui Electric Company, Ltd. (MECO), and Hawaii Electric Light Company, Inc. (HELCO), serves 95% of the state's 1.2 million residents on the islands of O`ahu, Maui, Hawai`i Island, Lana`i and Moloka`i.

The energy we use is an essential but limited resource necessary to maintaining our quality of life. In a changing world, Hawaiian Electric has evolved to offer more than electricity.

Today, the company also provides energy solutions to help customers save money and use energy more efficiently. Hawaiian Electric also continues to pursue the use of more clean, renewable energy alternatives to help ensure a sustainable future for our islands.


Hawaiian Electric Company is dedicated to our community in which we live, work and serve. Rooted in Hawaii and one of the largest companies in the State, Hawaiian Electric takes the concept of malama pono -- to care for and serve -- to heart. The company and our employees have a long tradition of contributing with dollars, time and talent. Corporate citizenship is crucial to Hawaiian Electric's overall business plan because strong communities are essential to the success of the company, our employees and our customers.

Company and employee volunteerism is encouraged and every month, employees walk, run or provide manpower to dozens of non-profits throughout the State. Hawaiian Electric's corporate giving philosophy gives priority to projects that help families, promote education and protect the environment.

The company also sponsors robotics programs and events that promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) education, as well as the SunPower for Schools program bringing solar electric power to select schools, the Solar Sprint event where students design, build and race cars using solar power, and the Home Energy Challenge, a school-based competition encouraging elementary school students and their families to reduce energy use at home, among other programs.

For nearly a decade, Hawaiian Electric volunteers have provided manpower, bucket trucks and ladders to install Christmas lights at the Kaimuki Community Park and playground before the annual Kaimuki Christmas Parade in December.

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