Hawaiian Electric Companies earn national smart grid technology award

Release Date: 3/3/2015

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HONOLULU, March 3, 2015 - The Hawaiian Electric Companies have been honored for work in applying research and development by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), an independent, non-profit national organization that works to improve electric service to utility customers.

The award honors "exceptional efforts to document research case studies in conjunction with the EPRI Smart Grid Demonstration Projects" by Hawaiian Electric's Grid Technologies Manager Darren Ishimura, Smart Grid Program Manager Shari Ishikawa, and Project Manager Demetrio Bucaneg and Maui Electric's Renewable Energy Projects Director Steven Rymsha.

The EPRI gives awards annually to those who have led technology transfer efforts on behalf of their companies and the electric utility industry at large. The awards are being presented today during a meeting of EPRI's Power Delivery and Utilization (PDU) advisors in Phoenix, Ariz. For 2014, Technology Transfer recognition went to 46 individuals from 29 electric power companies.

"The Smart Grid research and development led by these engineers promises significant benefits to customers of Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii 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 Hawaii’s dependence on expensive imported oil."

The Hawaiian Electric Companies have several Smart Grid research and development and demonstration projects underway. The companies plan to deploy Smart Grids across Maui County, Hawaii Island and Oahu in the next few years, pending filing of a full program application and approval from the Hawaii 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."

Background about the Electric Power Research Institute

The Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI, www.epri.com) conducts research and development relating to the generation, delivery and use of electricity for the benefit of the public. An independent, nonprofit organization, EPRI brings together its scientists and engineers as well as experts from academia and industry to help address challenges in electricity, including reliability, efficiency, affordability, health, safety and the environment. EPRI's members represent approximately 90 percent of the electricity generated and delivered in the United States, and international participation extends to more than 30 countries.