Hawaiian Electric submits plan to modernise island power grids


According to Renewables Now, the utility presented a draft plan which was submitted to the Public Utilities Commission, regarding the power networks of Hawaiian
Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light for the next six years.

The aim of the project is to help Haiwaiian utilities come to a consensus on a renewable portfolio standard of 48% by 2020 and 100% by 2045.

Furthermore, the plan submitted with to the Public Utilities Commission sets out specific steps for “tripling private rooftop photovoltaic (PV) installations and
incorporating more sophisticated energy management tools.”

Power grid modernisation

The project will be carried out in phases, with the first one suggesting near-term modernisation such as the installation of sensors and control systems. This is
expected to prevent voltage variations of rooftop solar plants and restricting the addition of the capacity.

The distribution of smart metres, promotion of advanced inverter technology and automated controls at substations and local circuits, as well as outage management solutions are also included in the plan.

Colton Ching, Hawaiian Electric’s senior vice president for planning and technology, said: “We can use advanced technology to transform these grids for two-way power flow from nearly 80,000 privately owned rooftop solar systems today and tens of thousands more in the future, along with thousands of energy storage systems that will be part of our grids by 2045.”

The implementation of the first step is expected to cost about USD 205 million (EUR 180m) over six years.

Hawaiian Electric will begin holding public discussions regarding the project and devise a final version of its proposal this month, which will be presented at the
end of August.

In related news, SA Water, water and sewerage services supplier in Australia, is turning to renewables to to minimise its electricity costs, and will commission a commercial-scale solar and storage system at its Crystal Brook Workshop site. SA Water is looking to build a grid-connected, rooftop solar PV system of more than 100kW, along with a 50kWh battery storage system and “smart controls,” it said in a a Request for Tender launched last week.

“The proposed system shall be behind the meter, and designed to minimise electricity costs via the ability to dispatch stored energy as required,” the tender request said.

“The system should have the ability to smooth grid supplied energy and also to use stored energy on site or export back to the grid.”