Richard Ha writes:
Hawai‘i’s utilities depend on liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a “bridge fuel,” which will allow it to lower rate payers’ costs. The cost to rate payers, though, depends on the long-term contract HECO can secure.
Canada is probably the best place for Hawaii to acquire LNG. But Canada has some important decisions ahead. Should they build LNG plants, which will require huge upfront investments in the multiple billions? They will have to make some decisions soon.
Click to read a special report on the subject from TD Bank Group (PFD):
Higher prices abroad and an increasingly promising global demand outlook for natural gas have garnered a considerable amount of attention from North American resource producers, who are interested in tapping into foreign markets, via liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports....
Japan is the highest priced market for LNG, but Japan has not yet made its final decision about whether it will restart its nuclear plants. And the Russia/China natural gas pipeline could take 10 percent of Asia’s demand off line.
What will Canada do? They are wrestling with this decision right now.
Hawaii rate payers will be interested to see what price contract HECO is able to secure. Whatever it is will determine the electricity rates we pay for the following twenty years.
And we don't want to see what happened in the Aina Koa Pono docket – where the price was kept secret.
The Big Island has geothermal as a low-cost base power. What we don’t want here is for expensive LNG to prohibit the development of our low-cost geothermal.