Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Hawaiian Electric completes initial smart grid installation on Oahu

Iain Morris
September 30, 2014

Hawaiian Electric says it has now completed its initial installation of smart grid technology in select neighborhoods on the island of Oahu.

The upgrade means that customers in Moanulua Valley and parts of Pearl City, Kaimuki, Diamond Head, Kahala and Waikiki can access a personalized web page feature and use the online information to better manage their energy consumption.

The utility says it chose the neighborhoods it did because they represent a diverse mix of customers and physical terrain, helping it demonstrate the applicability of smart grid technology to a range of circumstances and individuals.

The company is using wireless communications technology in conjunction with the electric grid to provide information to customers about their usage of energy services.

Sensors are capable of improving outage detection, while automated system controls have been designed to improve restoration time.

Hawaiian Electric plans to develop smart grids across Oahu, Maui County and Hawaii Island as part of a strategy to transform the islands’ electric systems.

By 2030, it expects more than 65% of the state’s energy needs to be met by renewable energy sources and is committed to lowering customer bills by 20% and nearly tripling the amount of distributed solar energy by that date.

“Information is power, and smart grid technology empowers our customers by providing them with more information about their energy use so that they can better understand what contributes to their electric bill,” said Shari Ishikawa, Hawaiian Electric’s smart grid program manager. “Modernizing our electric grids with smart technology will improve service, provide customers with the opportunity to better manage their electricity bill, and help integrate more low-cost renewable energy.”

Pending approval by local authorities, the utility aims to compete its deployment of smart grid infrastructure by 2018.

Hawaiian Electric has teamed up with smart grid specialist Silver Spring Networks on the rollout.
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