As the second full day of the Maui Energy Conference drew to a close Thursday, some people were wondering aloud where NextEra Energy was this week.

The Florida-based energy giant was a major sponsor of the event, which focused on Hawaii’s goal of powering the islands entirely with renewable energy sources by 2045. And yet no executive or underling could be found on a single panel or listening in the crowd.

The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission is considering whether to approve NextEra’s offer to buy Hawaiian Electric Industries for $4.3 billion. A decision is expected this summer.

Some suspected that the deal isn’t likely to go through, so NextEra figured why bother. Others suggested the company is feverishly working on its final briefs to the PUC.

Reached by email, NextEra spokesman Rob Gould said Thursday that it was “perhaps conflicting schedules,” but he added that he “certainly wouldn’t read anything into it.”

Read Civil Beat’s coverage of the NextEra case here.

Hawaiian Electric Co. President Alan Oshima, left, talks about energy issues as NextEra Energy Hawaii President Eric Gleason listens, Wednesday, on the first day of the Maui Energy Conference.

Hawaiian Electric Co. President Alan Oshima, left, talks about energy issues as NextEra Energy Hawaii President Eric Gleason, center, listens during a panel discussion at the 2015 Maui Energy Conference. Gleason wasn’t at the 2016 conference, either as a panelist or attendee.

Nathan Eagle/Civil Beat

About the Author