Maui Business

Renewable Energy Advocate Appointed to Public Utilities Commission

September 19, 2011, 3:09 PM HST
* Updated September 19, 3:46 PM
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Solar installation on Lanai. Photo courtesy Debbie Lew, National Research Energy Laboratory.

By Sonia Isotov

Last Friday, Governor Neil Abercrombie announced several new appointments, and among them the appointment of a Maui-based energy consultant, Michael Champley, to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC).

Mr. Champley has over 40 years of experience analyzing, integrating and managing complex economic, public policy and technical issues confronting an evolving regulated energy utility industry, according to the announcement from the governor. Mr. Champley, 63, is currently a Maui-based senior energy consultant with Kahakuloa Energy Advisors, LLC and is focused on clean energy resource integration in Hawai’i.

“Renewable power producers should be financially compensated for the times when Hawaiian Electric decides it won’t accept their power onto the grid,” said Mike Champley, in the Huffington Post last month. “Curtailment or the threat thereof is so overwhelming that it makes these projects basically unfinanceable. It causes uncertainty of the revenue stream. If there were more certainty, one could plan or adjust accordingly.”

He counts among his clients the Blue Planet Foundation, a Hawaii non-profit dedicated to making Hawaii energy independent.


On October 11, Champley is scheduled to speak on a panel at the 2011 Utility Wind Integration Group’s (UWIG) Solar Integration Workshop. The conference is presented by the UWIG and the US Department of Energy and will be held from October 10-14 at the Sheraton Maui in Kaanapali. Champley will speak on the topic of interconnection procedures and standards.


Prior to re-locating to Hawai’i, Champley was a senior executive with DTE Energy, a Detroit electric and gas energy company where he held various executive positions including Senior Vice President-Regulatory Affairs and Senior Vice President-Power Supply. Mr. Champley holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Dayton and a MBA from Indiana University with emphasis in Finance and Public Utility Economics and Regulation.

Champley will start immediately on an interim basis until his appointment can be confirmed by the state senate.


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