Hawaii Electric Light and Maui Electric Join the Fold
In 1957, Honolulu Electrical Products. Co., Ltd. (HEPCO) becomes a wholly-owned merchandising subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric and opens headquarters on Pi'ikoi Street in 1957. HEPCO is later sold in 1962.
Hawaii achieves statehood in 1959. A surge in demand for electricity follows as the arrival of passenger jet services (and the opening of Ala Moana Center) brings tourists to the islands. The first unit at Kahe Power Plant goes online in 1963, helping to meet the additional demand.
In 1968, Hawaiian Electric Company purchased Maui Electric Company. Two years later, as construction flourished and the good economic times for Hawaii continued, Hawaiian Electric also acquired the Big Island's Hilo Electric Light Company (later to be known as Hawaii Electric Light Company).
Demand for power continued to escalate in the early 1970s, more than doubling over the previous decade. The average annual use by a residential customer household increased from 5,349 kilowatt hours a year to 8,108 kilowatt hours. Keahole Generating Station and the Airport Substation begin operation on Hawaii Island in 1973.
In 1978, Hawaiian Electric is awarded a $2 million grant for a Department of Energy/NASA test wind turbine in Kahuku. Hawaiian Electric signs a contract with Windfarms, Ltd. for development of an 80 kV wind energy system in 1980.