HECO hosts public meeting on plans to upgrade Oahu’s power grid

Hawaiian Electric Company hosted Monday a public meeting to gather input and share its draft plan to modernize Oahu’s power grid.

The draft Grid Modernization Strategy filed with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in June describes the scope and estimated $205 million cost to update the energy networks of Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light over the next six years. The plan aims to help bring on more renewable resources like private rooftop solar, increase reliability and give customers new choices to control their energy use.

Dozens gathered for an open house at McKinley High School to meet and question company representatives.

Highlights of this near-term work include:

  • Distribution of smart meters strategically rather than system-wide, i.e., to customers with private rooftop solar on saturated circuits
    and customers interested in demand response programs, variable rates or electricity usage data
  • Reliance on advanced inverter technology to enable greater rooftop solar adoption
  • Expanded use of voltage management tools, especially on circuits with heavy solar penetration to maximize circuit capacities for private rooftop solar and other customer resources
  • Expanded use of sensors and automated controls at substations and neighborhood circuits
  • Enhanced outage management and notification technology

Public opinion gathered from this meeting and three others held on Maui and the Hawaii Island will be included in the final plan to be submitted to the PUC at the end of August.

The draft plan and related documents are available at www.hawaiianelectric.com/gridmod.

Public comments on the plan can be submitted to gridmod@hawaiianelectric.com until Aug. 9, 2017.

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