Talk Story – Insights from COP26: Inspiration and Action Items for Hawaii

Happy New Year!

We celebrated our first WiRE event of the year with a Talk Story from members of Hawaii’s ‘ohana delegation to explore Insights from COP26: Inspiration and Action Items for Hawaii.  While  U.S. emissions rose 6 percent last year, we reflected on Hawaii’s role in global action.


DLNR Chair Suzanne Case, who attended COP26 as part of the Hawaii ‘Ohana Delegation and also signed the Edinburgh Declaration at the conference on behalf of the State of Hawaii.

Councilmember Kelly King, who attended COP26 on behalf of ICLEI-USA and spoke on several panels with an emphasis on multi-level government collaboration, local-level community action, and advancing the circular economy; Kelly also signed the Edinburgh Declaration and helped commit Maui County to biodiversity.


Anu Hittle, Hawai’i Climate Change Mitigation & Adaptation Coordinator, State of Hawaii, DLNR-OCCL



  • Materials for COP26 and State of Hawaii involvement (Governor and his delegation), along with the Ohana delegation’s presence:
  • Hawaii’s goals and progress in relation to the national and global pledges (see here)

Talk Story: Distributed Energy Resources in Hawaii

WiRE hosted a talk story on distributed energy resources (DER) in Hawaii to learn more about the important role DERs are playing in Hawaii’s ambitious clean energy goals.

Our panelists shared their insights on:

  • Current proposals for advanced rate design and DER programs
  • The recent Battery Bonus Program launched to add more DERs to the grid before the AES coal-fired plant is retired starting in September 2022
  • Stakeholder efforts to prioritize equity in DER deployment
  • Important considerations for ongoing customer engagement


  • Caroline Carl, Deputy Director at Hawaii Energy


  • Sherilyn Hayashida, Program Specialist at State of Hawaii Division of Consumer Advocacy
  • Rocky Mould, Executive Director at Hawaii Solar Energy Association
  • Kaiulani Shinsato, Director, Customer Energy Resources Programs at Hawaiian Electric

Talk Story: Clean Transportation

WiRE hosted a conversation on clean transportation just in time for National Drive Electric Week!

From reducing vehicle miles traveled (VMTs) to providing input on EV charging options powered by renewable energy, panelists discussed the latest and greatest in clean transportation initiatives in Hawaii.


Katie Rooney, Director, Transportation Policy and Programs, Ulupono Initiative


Kiani Jones, Clean Mobility Director, Blue Planet Foundation

June Chee, Sr Program Manager, Hawaiian Electric

2021 Legislative Debrief

WiRE hosted a Talk Story session with Representative Nicole Lowen, Chair of the House Energy and Environmental Protection Committee, and Senator Chris Lee, Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, to hear more about key renewable energy, clean transportation and energy efficiency bills considered and passed during the 2021 state legislative session.  Questions were sourced from WiRE members prior to the survey for a dynamic discussion.

WiRE Talk Story: Department of Defense

Kirsten Baumgart Turner, Deputy Energy Director of the State Energy Office spoke with representatives from Booz Allen Hamilton and Hawaii Natural Energy Institute to discuss updates on Department of Defense initiatives, including the Marine Corp Base Hawaii Wave Energy Test Site project and Schofield Barracks Generating Station project and their impacts on Hawaii’s resiliency.


Kirsten Baumgart Turner, Deputy Energy Director of the Hawai’i State Energy Office


Sarah Lorimer, Lead Associate, Booz Allen Hamilton

Patrick Cross, Specialist- Marine Ocean Energy Program Manager, Hawaii Natural Energy Institute

WiRE Talk Story: Shalanda Baker

Shalanda Baker joined WiRE for an exclusive members-only  virtual talk story to dive into her new book, Revolutionary Power: An Activist’s Guide to the Energy Transition.

Baker is the current Deputy Director of Energy Justice at the U.S. Department of Energy and most recently a professor of law, public policy, and urban affairs at Northeastern University. She also served as associate professor of law at the William S. Richardson School of Law, University of Hawai’i, where she was the founding director of the Energy Justice Program. She was the co-founder and co-director of the Initiative for Energy Justice, which provides technical law and policy support to communities on the front lines of climate change. Baker served as an Air Force officer prior to her honorable discharge pursuant to the then existing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, and became a vocal advocate for repeal of the policy. She earned a B.S. in Political Science from the U.S. Air Force Academy, a J.D. from Northeastern University, and L.L.M. from the University of Wisconsin.

Performance Based Regulation

On December 23, 2020 the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission issued a historic order for Performance Based Regulation (PBR). On February 26th from 12-1 PM, WiRE hosted an exciting discussion about the many details of PBR in Hawai’i.

Panelists included:


  • Commissioner Jennifer Potter, Hawaii PUC
  • Cara Goldenberg, Manager, Rocky Mountain Institute
  • Grace Relf, Senior Utility Analyst, Hawaii PUC
  • Gina Yi, Interim Chief Engineer, Hawaii PUC


We learned more about the multi-year stakeholder engagement process leading up to the Decision and Order – including goals and outcomes, notable milestones and challenges to overcome. We will also explore the post Decision and Order working group efforts currently underway and activities planned through June 2021. Attendees also gained insight into the plans for PBR implementation over the next few years.

For some additional information, we welcome you to review the PUC’s PBR Phase 2 D&O 5 Page Summary. You can also visit the PUC’s Performance Based Regulation website for some detailed content on the proceedings.

WiRE Talk Story: Prof & Technical Dev Scholarship & Pre-Approved Packages

  • See pre-approved packages here.
  • Apply for the scholarship here.


During this session, we heard from three of our fellow WiRE members who took part in the WiRE Professional & Technical Development Scholarship program. They shared why they decided to partake in their development program and how they made the ask.

Clarice Schafer, Supervising Utility Analyst at Hawaii Public Utilities Commission

Jordan Little, Senior Manager of Asset Management & Business Development at Pacific Current Hawaii

Kirstin Punu, Community Engagement & Strategic Partnerships at AES Distributed Energy

We also launched some pre-approved development programs and coaching packages.

We know that many of you are juggling multiple priorities and may be feeling fatigue with video conferencing and webinars. That’s why we’re taking a refreshed approach with these sessions to offer a more personal, informal, and shorter dialogue to re-energize your work and re-connect with fellow WiRE members.



WiRE Talk Story: Scott Glenn, Chief Energy Officer

Scott Glenn, Chief Energy Officer at Hawaii State Energy Office, joined WiRE as part of our Talk Story Series to answer some rapid-fire questions from Jordan Little, Senior Manager at Pacific Current, and discuss his 30 day, 6 month and 3 year plans for the State Energy Office.

October 29th 
12:00-12:45 pm



This session is part of a series of virtual conversations with leaders working on creating a future powered by renewable energy. Continuing through the end of the year, each 45-minute Zoom session will spotlight one leader who will share a personal glimpse into their leadership and career journey as well as their vision for our collective clean energy future.
We know that many of you are juggling multiple priorities and may be feeling fatigue with video conferencing and webinars. That’s why we’re taking a refreshed approach with these sessions to offer a more personal, informal, and shorter dialogue to re-energize your work and re-connect with fellow WiRE members.