Smart Charge Hawai’i Program to Make EV Charging Stations Available

September 19, 2019, 7:03 AM HST (Updated September 19, 2019, 7:03 AM)
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Enel X, the advanced energy solution business line of the Enel Group, in collaboration with Hawaiian Electric Companies, the state’s largest electricity provider, and Elemental Excelerator, an accelerator providing funding and other resources to pilot and commercial-scale startups, has launched Smart Charge Hawai‘i, a smart electric vehicle (EV) charging program.

Through the financial support of Elemental Excelerator, Enel X’s smart charging stations, powered by JuiceNet software, are free for the first 300 EV drivers and 50 businesses in Hawaiian Electric Companies service territory who sign up to participate. Participants will earn JuicePoints, redeemable for cash, for connecting their charging station to the internet and using the smart charging station. As EV adoption increases across Hawai‘i, this program will help measure smart grid EV charging benefits in a market with a high presence of renewables.

Renewable energy and EV growth in Hawai‘i represents an opportunity for new smart grid and charging infrastructure to boost renewable integration and the electrification of transportation. Four years ago, Hawai‘i became the first US state to set a goal of producing all of its electricity from 100% renewable sources, leading to a more than three-fold growth in renewable energy capacity over the last decade. In addition, Hawai‘i saw a 30% increase in passenger EVs in 2018 with more than twice the national average, according to the Hawai‘i State Energy Office.

“With the highest rooftop solar penetration in the country, Hawai‘i is a fantastic match for our smart charging platform to dynamically balance electricity loads,” said Preston Roper, Head of Enel X e-Mobility, North America. “Through our partnership with Hawaiian Electric Companies and the Elemental Excelerator we are reinforcing the critical role that smart charging has towards scaling renewable energy in a sustainable and economical way.”

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This project will focus on maximizing charging in the middle of the day when solar generation is highest, and reducing charging on days of high electricity demand in the evening hours via Enel X’s award-winning JuiceNet platform.

The JuiceNet platform matches drivers’ historical charging patterns, real-time input and signals from utility grid operators to aggregate and manage charging station demand, allowing EV drivers to contribute by charging at times when electricity costs are lower and renewable energy is most available. For residents and businesses with Hawaiian Electric’s Time-of-Use rate plan, smart charging could result in lower overall charging costs for EV owners and an option to charge with the cleanest power available.

“Electric vehicles, renewable energy resources, and our electricity grid are all key members of an ensemble. Like in an orchestra, all three of these technologies must play in concert to rapidly transition to clean, local energy,” Dawn Lippert, CEO at Elemental Excelerator. “This project deploys the software and connectivity backbone to help unlock that future, which is why, in 2017, Elemental Excelerator began working with the start-up eMotorWerks, which is now integrated into Enel X.”

EV drivers and businesses that are customers of Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawai’i Electric Light can order an EV charging station and opt-in to the smart charging program online. Up to 300 residential and 50 commercial JuiceBox smart chargers are free but installation costs must be covered by the customers. Following the deployment of charging infrastructure, Enel X and Hawaiian Electric will implement load building and load shifting grid services to help accelerate the deployment of renewable energy.

“We are on track to reach nearly 30% of the electricity Hawaiian Electric customers use coming from renewable energy by 2020, on our way to 100% by 2045. So now is the perfect time to implement more smart charging as EV adoption and renewable generation grow in parallel,” said Richard Barone, Hawaiian Electric director of demand response. “This project will provide critical insights into how vehicle-grid integration can help us achieve our 100% RPS goals efficiently.”

Enel X is one of the only EV supply equipment companies participating in US wholesale energy markets as a demand response provider. Hawaiian Electric is in a unique position as the utility and system operator to pioneer smart grid programs at scale.

About Enel X
Enel X is Enel’s global business line dedicated to developing innovative products and digital solutions in sectors in which energy is showing the greatest potential for transformation: cities, homes, industries and electric mobility. Enel X holds the leading position in demand response programmes globally, with over 6 GW of demand response capacity currently managed and assigned in the Americas, Europe, Asia and Oceania. Enel X’s electric vehicle charging station technology, called JuiceBox®, and its JuiceNet® platform, provide smart management of electric vehicle charging and other distributed energy storage facilities. Enel X operates over 50,000 electric vehicle smart charging points in 20 countries.

Enel X in North America has around 3,400 business customers, spanning more than 10,400 sites, representing approximately 4.7 GW of demand response capacity and over 20 operational behind-the-meter storage projects. The company’s intelligent DER Optimization Software is designed to analyze real-time energy and utility bill data, improve performance, and manage distributed energy assets, including behind-the-meter storage projects.

About Hawaiian Electric
For 125 years, Hawaiian Electric Company has provided the energy that has fueled the islands’ development from a Hawaiian kingdom to a modern American state. Hawaiian Electric Company and its subsidiaries Maui Electric Company and Hawaiʻi Electric Light Company serve 95 percent of the state’s 1.4 million residents on the islands of O‘ahu, Maui, Hawai‘i Island, Lānaʻi and Moloka‘i.

About Elemental Excelerator
Elemental Excelerator helps startups change the world, one community at a time. Each year, it finds 15-20 companies that best fit its mission and funds each company up to $1 million to improve systems that impact people’s lives: energy, mobility, water, agriculture, and circular economy. To date, it has awarded over $30 million to 82 companies and funded 59 projects. For more information, visit elementalexcelerator.com.

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