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Smart Power for Schools
Smart Power for Schools is an educational demonstration program that aims to teach students and the community about renewable energy and smart grid technologies. It is funded in part by voluntary contributions from our customers and the community though Hawaiian Electric Companies' Green Pricing Program.
If you are interested in helping to enhance and expand the Smart Power for Schools program for local public schools, you can complete and mail in our contribution form:
Or, you can call (808) 543-7511, and we'll send you a contribution form.
You may make a single donation or a monthly donation that will be included with your monthly electric bill. If you donate monthly and you transfer your electric service to a new address, your contribution will transfer with your account to the new address. You may cancel your participation at any time by notifying us in writing or by calling our customer service staff.
Note that your contribution to the Smart Power for Schools fund is voluntary and is generally not deductible on your federal or state income tax return. Your contributions are an investment in promoting renewable energy education and development in Hawaii.
How Does It Work?
Smart Power for Schools is the result of a voluntary partnership between the Hawaiian Electric Companies and the State of Hawaii Department of Education. This educational program was initiated in July 2015 and succeeded the Sun Power for Schools program, which began in 1996.
The program's goal is to educate students and the community about emerging renewable energy technologies, energy management tools, and equipment that will help integrate renewable energy into a modern electric grid.
Smart Power for Schools is also designed to support the State of Hawaii Department of Education's sustainability goals, assisting with renewable energy and smart grid technologies and energy management and efficiency strategies to reduce schools' electricity use.
The Hawaii Department of Education chooses schools based on a commitment to include renewable energy education in the classroom. School buildings must also meet structural and environmental requirements for the system and be in locations that can benefit the most from available renewable energy resources and solutions for the integration of increased amounts of renewable energy into the electric grid.
Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric, and Hawaii Electric Light provide monetary and in-kind support to help demonstrate renewable energy and smart grid technologies at the selected public schools on Oahu, in Maui County, and on Hawaii Island. This support, along with the voluntary contributions from the community, help fund the purchase, installation, operation, and maintenance of renewable energy systems.
The equipment installed at public schools will become property of the Department of Education upon installation. The equipment will be operated and maintained by the Hawaiian Electric Companies for two years after installation, after which the Department of Education will operate and maintain the equipment.
Demonstration and Education
At select public schools, Smart Power for Schools will install and demonstrate emerging technologies and equipment, for example:
- Renewable and clean energy systems, such as small wind turbines, solar hybrid systems, and fuel cells
- Smart grid equipment, including smart inverters and advanced meters
- Energy storage and management systems, such as battery banks
- Energy monitoring, profiling, and management tools, including individual Web portals
In addition to supporting the Department of Education's sustainability goals, the renewable energy systems and energy management tools will help educate students about new technologies. Information on the technologies demonstrated will be made available on the Internet, and a Web interface will be developed for classroom instruction.
You can read more about our partnership with STEM Inc. and the Department of Education. Also, learn more about the PowerScope software used by the individual schools and Department of Education energy managers.