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HAWAIIAN ELECTRIC INDUSTRIES INC. TO CLOSE WIND FARM, ESTABLISH $8 MILLION LOSS RESERVE

 HAWAIIAN ELECTRIC INDUSTRIES INC. TO CLOSE WIND FARM,
 ESTABLISH $8 MILLION LOSS RESERVE
 HONOLULU, Oct. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. (NYSE: HE) (HEI) said it has decided to exit the wholesale wind energy business because of chronic losses from operations and continuing mechanical problems with its wind turbines. HEI intends to establish a loss reserve in the third quarter of 1992 of $8 million, or 33 cents per share, for its Hawaiian Electric Renewable Systems (HERS) subsidiary.
 Robert F. Clarke, HEI president and chief executive officer, said the board of directors approved the action yesterday at a special meeting.
 "We invested in wind energy in a time of rising fuel oil prices," Clarke said. "Oil prices have not risen as expected and HERS' operating losses have become increasingly severe. HERS lost $1.9 million after taxes in 1991 and we anticipated increased losses in the future."
 The unregulated, non-utility subsidiary was formed in 1985 to develop wind power and other alternate energy sources to help reduce the state's dependence on imported oil. The company's main wind farm at Kahuku on the island of Oahu consists of two projects. One has 14 Westinghouse wind turbines rated at 600 kilowatts each, which were dedicated in 1986. The other is the 3.2 megawatt Boeing MOD5-B wind turbine which went on-line in 1987.
 "HEI remains committed to government policies to reduce the state's reliance on imported oil as an energy source," Clarke said. "In recent years, our electric utilities have increased their purchases of power from alternate energy sources and cogenerators. The examples are a new coal-fired plant on Oahu, longstanding use of bio-mass or bagasse throughout our service territory and the possibility of geothermal generation on the Big Island."
 Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. is a diversified electric utility holding company delivering essential services to the people of Hawaii through its electric utility, banking, property-casualty insurance, maritime freight transportation and residential housing development subsidiaries.
 -0- 10/7/92
 /CONTACT: Constance H. Lau, treasurer, 808-543-7384, or Gary S. Sharpe, director-investor relations, 808-543-7385, both of Hawaiian Electric Industries/
 (HE) CO: Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. ST: Hawaii IN: UTI SU:


JB-KJ -- LA009 -- 7335 10/07/92 08:30 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 7, 1992
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