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Hawaiian Electric Industries has been named the 2018 Power Players Investor-Owned Utilities of the Year by the Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA).

The award recognises grid modernisation efforts implemented by subsidiaries of Hawaiian Electric Industries. The subsidiaries include Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaiʻi Electric Light.

This year’s SEPA Power Players Awards, now in their tenth year, focused on utilities vision and momentum for the industry's transition to a clean energy future.

In addition to the award, Maui Electric was a finalist in the Visionary of the Year category for its project with Molokaʻi residents to plan the transition from diesel generation to renewable energy sources, including solar and energy storage.

The utility has set a target to generate 100% of its energy using renewables. In 2017, 27% of its total capacity was sourced from clean resources.

Hawaii Electric Companies secured approval of its grid modernisation plan from the Public Utilities Commission in February 2018.

The approval followed multiple engagement with customers and stakeholders from across the state in developing the integrated resource, transmission, and distribution plan.

Alan Oshima, CEO at  Hawaiian Electric, said: "To be recognised by the judges in two highly competitive categories affirms the hard work of those who contributed to our grid modernisation strategy and our engagement with the Molokaʻi community.

"Both awards note how input from customers, community partners and industry experts helped shape the companies' plans to modernise our island grids and this level of collaboration is the new norm, as we work toward meeting the most ambitious clean energy goals in the nation."

"This year's SEPA Power Players represent a diverse set of technologies and initiatives, from low-income community solar, to broad grid modernisation efforts, to the digital software needed to optimise our electric power system," said Julia Hamm, SEPA President and CEO.

"The Hawaiian Electric Companies are but one example of the industry's spirit of innovation and leadership as we continue to move toward a smart, clean and modern electric grid."

In total, Hawaiian Electric Companies provide electricity to 95% of the Hawai'i's 1.4 million residents on the islands of Oʻahu, Maui, Hawaiʻi Island, Lānaʻi and Molokaʻi.