Hawaiian Electric Receives National Smart Grid Award

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The Electrical Power Research Institute, an independent non-profit national organization that works to improve electric service to utility customers, has honored the Hawaiian Electric Companies for their efforts in applying research and development.

Hawaiian Electric’s Grid Technologies Manager Darren Ishimura, Smart Grid Program Manager Shari Ishikawa, and Project Manager Demetrio Bucaneg, in addition to Maui Electric’s Renewable Energy Projects Director Steven Rymsha, were all part of the EPRI Smart Grid Demonstration Projects that earned the award through their exceptional efforts in documenting research case studies in conjunction with the projects.

Every year, EPRI awards those who have led technology transfer efforts on behalf of their companies and their electric utility at large.

These awards are being presented March 4 at a meeting of EPRI’s Power Delivery and Utilization advisers in Pheonix, Ariz. A total of 46 individuals from 29 different electrical power companies will receive the Technology Transfer recognition for 2014.


“The Smart Grid research and development led by these engineers promises significant benefits to customers of Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawai’i Electric Light Company, including better service, faster repairs, and more control over their bills,” said Shelee Kimura, Hawaiian Electric vice president for corporate planning and business development. “Another benefit of a modern smart grid will be to help us maintain reliable service for all customers as we integrate more low-cost renewable energy, like wind and solar, which will reduce Hawai’i dependence on expensive imported oil.”

Several Smart Grid research and development and demonstration projects are underway by the Hawaiian Electric Companies. Smart Grids are in the planning process to be deployed across the Big Island, Maui County and on Oahu over the next few years. According to officials, these efforts are pending the filing of a full program application and approval from the Hawai’i Public Utilities Commission.

“The 2014 Technology Transfer Award winners made significant achievements in applying EPRI research results, or acting as champions for EPRI research programs,” said Mark McGranaghan, vice president of PDU at EPRI. “The commitment and collaboration demonstrated by these individuals and teams enables the power industry to  continuously improve its safety, reliability, and affordability and be more environmentally responsible for the benefit of their stakeholders and society.”



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