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Smart grid pilot programme for Hawaii

Hawaiian Electric aims to boost grid reliability and bolster use of renewables

Honeywell is working with utility Hawaiian Electric in Honolulu
Honeywell is working with utility Hawaiian Electric in Honolulu on a two-year smart grid pilot programme to boost grid reliability and bolster use of renewables

A pilot programme demonstrating how demand response technology can help integrate more intermittent renewable energy to the electric grid is being launched in Hawaii. Honeywell is working with utility Hawaiian Electric in Honolulu on the two-year pilot, which aims to help commercial and industrial customers temporarily reduce the need for electricity, which is “critical to maintaining grid reliability as Hawaii reduces fossil fuel dependence”.

Hawaiian Electric will conduct a test of Honeywell’s fast demand response (Fast DR) technology, which gives the utility the tools to reduce demand within 10 minutes of notification of a pending imbalance between supply and demand.

Companies receive an incentive to participate and when Fast DR events are triggered they receive an additional per-kilowatthour incentive credit. “This can translate into thousands of dollars in annual savings,” said Honeywell.

It is hoped the pilot project will validate the technical design and tariffs for a full-scale demand response programme to support Hawaii's renewable energy goals. It will also contribute to a broader state-wide effort to increase energy independence, security and sustainability.

"Increasing renewable energy requires new and more advanced methods of managing reliability, especially given the variable nature of wind and solar. Our demand response strategy engages our customers in the total solution," said Scott Seu, Hawaiian Electric vice president for energy resources. "This project will lay the groundwork for new programmes to advance a clean energy future for Hawaii."

Paul Orzeske, president of Honeywell Building Solutions added that reducing demand, or generating ‘negawatts’, is the cheapest and greenest way to meet electricity needs.

"This project will validate that demand response can deliver negawatts in an accelerate timeframe,” he said. “Utilities across the globe have ambitious renewable energy goals, and Hawaiian Electric's groundbreaking work will provide a template for solving the challenge of intermittency."