Hawaiian Electric Companies pilots DER use on O‘ahu grid


Hawaiian Electric Companies is partnering with engineering software firm Opus One Solutions to improve management of distributed energy resources integrated on the O‘ahu grid.

Hawaiian Electric Companies will use Opus One’s GridOS Dynamic Hosting Capacity software to increase integration and improve management of customer energy resources with the main grid.

The project is co-funded by Elemental Excelerator to address challenges associated with an increase of consumer onsite rooftop solar, energy storage and electric vehicle systems.

The project will demonstrate how the software can be used to centralise control and operation of distributed energy resources.

The project will aim to accommodate DERs on a single feeder/neighbourhood circuit, enable real time optimisation of grid assets and DERs to maintain the reliability of the main grid and sustain service efficiency for consumers.

“Hawaii is experiencing an exciting and challenging technology transformation that enables Hawaiian Electric to demonstrate energy innovation by fundamentally changing the way distributed energy resources are integrated into the grid,” said Colton Ching, Hawaiian Electric vice president for energy delivery.

O‘ahu has been selected to host the project owing to its ranking as a leader in DER integration. One in three single-family households in O‘ahu has a rooftop solar. The region has set a goal to triple consumer solar adoption by 2030.

The project is part of efforts to modernise the grid network and prepare it for surges in EV adoption and increase in energy demand.

Hawaiian Electric’s distribution engineers will evaluate optimal site locations for DERs and associated grid benefits using Opus One’s GridOS Integrated Distribution Planning solution suite.

This software platform will provide Hawaiian Electric with full situational awareness of the distribution grid and DER hosting capacity as well as capacity constraints, allowing strategic increases in acceptance of DERs on the distribution network.

“Opus One Solutions reduces the need for significant infrastructure upgrades by leveraging the value of DERs to the grid, while also accommodating the interest for increased DER penetration,” says Joshua Wong, president and CEO of Opus One.

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Nicholas Nhede is an experienced energy sector writer based in Clarion Event's Cape Town office. He has been writing for Smart Energy International’s print and online media platforms since 2015, on topics including metering, smart grids, renewable energy, the Internet of Things, distributed energy resources and smart cities. Originally from Zimbabwe, Nicholas holds a diploma in Journalism and Communication Studies. Nicholas has a passion for how technology can be used to accelerate the energy transition and combat climate change.