- Hawaiian Electric (HECO) has completed initial installation of smart grid technology in certain Oahu neighborhoods, including a wireless communications network integrated into the existing electric grid.
- The new system includes sensors to improve outage detection, automated system controls to decrease outage restoration time, and advanced electric meters to help customers better manage their energy use. Silver Spring Networks partnered with HECO on the roll-out.
- Pending approval by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC), HECO's plan will incorporate smart grids across Oahu, in Maui County and on Hawaii Island by 2018.
The completion of the first phase of HECO's smart grid is an important step in the utility's vision for Hawaii. In plans filed with state regulators, HECO aims to meet more than 65% of the state’s energy needs with renewable energy sources by 2050, while lowering customer bills by 20%. The utility is already working to triple the amount of rooftop solar in its territory, and recently announced it would pilot a behind-the-meter storage program with Stem.
With the installation of it's smart grid, HECO joins the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, which has already installed wireless smart meters on the Garden Isle. With the installation of new technology, residential HECO customers can log onto their online customer service accounts to review information on their energy use.
“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, HECO’s smart grid program manager.