The Hawaiian Electric Companies’ have submitted their grid modernisation plans to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission for review.The utilities' plans include the rollout of smart grid technology to more than 455,000 customers on the islands of O‘ahu, Hawai‘i Island as well as Maui County.
The companies' proposals include the deployment of a modern wireless communication network, smart meters and technology that will boost the existing electricity grid to be more automated and energy efficient.
The smart grid technology to be installed is expected to provide electricity usage information, assisting customers to better manage their bills, as well as enable automated services such as remote meter reads and change of address requests.
Alan Oshima, Hawaiian Electric president and CEO commented by saying: “Modernizing our electric grid is a critical part of our commitment to better serve our customers and achieve a clean energy future for Hawai‘i.
“This investment will lay the technological foundation to enable us to provide our customers with better service, more options to manage their bills, more renewable energy and other services in the future.”
Smart energy-saving tools
[quote] A personalized energy portal will be available to customers, giving them increased access and more control over their energy use.
The smart grid modernisation plan is also envisioned to help the utility achieve its goal toward 100% renewable energy generation.
Those customers who choose to opt out of the smart meter rollout are required to pay a monthly charge of $15 to help pay for the cost of continued manual reading and maintenance of their non-standard meters.
According to the utility company, the $340 million Smart Grid Foundation Project is key to Hawaii’s overall smart grid roadmap. Should Hawaiian Electric Companies' proposal be approved by the Public Utilities Commission, installation of smart meters will begin in 2017 on the island of O’ahu and on the Hawaii Island and Maui County in 2018.
A strategic partner in Hawaii Electric’s grid modernisation efforts, Sliver Spring Network’s president and CEO,
Mike Bell said: “Hawai’i faces unique challenges in meeting its energy needs in an environmentally sustainable and cost-effective manner.
“Hawaiian Electric has put forth a bold plan that will serve the people of Hawai‘i for generations to come. We are honored to be a partner in this effort.