Hawaiian Electric Companies named 2018 Investor-Owned Utilities of the Year by Smart Electric Power Alliance
Companies recognized for grid modernization plans and innovation
Release Date: 6/12/2018
HONOLULU, June 12, 2018 - The Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) has named Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light the 2018 SEPA Power Players Investor-Owned Utilities of the Year for their grid modernization efforts.
Now in their 10th year, the SEPA Power Players Awards are chosen by an independent panel of judges with diverse experience in the electric power industry. The awards honor utilities, their industry partners, and individual thought leaders providing the vision and momentum for the industry's transition to a clean energy future.
In addition to the top award to the Hawaiian Electric Companies, Maui Electric was a finalist in the Visionary of the Year category for its continuing engagement with Molokai residents to plan the transition from diesel generation to renewable energy sources, including solar and energy storage.
"To be recognized by the judges in two highly competitive categories affirms the hard work of those who contributed to our grid modernization strategy and our engagement with the Molokai community," said Alan Oshima, Hawaiian Electric president and CEO. "Both awards note how input from customers, community partners and industry experts helped shape the companies' plans to modernize our island grids, and this level of collaboration is the new norm as we work toward meeting the most ambitious clean energy goals in the nation."
The Hawaiian Electric Companies' multi-year grid modernization strategy began with a new planning process that assesses needs at all levels of the system: customers, bulk power resources, transmission and distribution. The process engaged customers and stakeholders from across the state at key points in the integrated resource, transmission, and distribution planning effort.
In February 2018, the Public Utilities Commission approved implementation of the strategy to create renewable-ready island grids and improve reliability. The commission said the strategy "presents a holistic view of how Hawaii's electric grid can evolve" and commended the companies for "robust and early stakeholder engagement" in developing the plan, which incorporates a wide range of technologies to enable greater private rooftop solar adoption as well as grid-scale renewables.
"This year's SEPA Power Players represent a diverse set of technologies and initiatives, from low-income community solar, to broad grid modernization efforts, to the digital software needed to optimize our electric power system," said Julia Hamm, SEPA President and CEO. "The Hawaiian Electric Companies are but one example of the industry's spirit of innovation and leadership as we continue to move toward a smart, clean and modern electric grid."
About the Hawaiian Electric Companies
For 126 years, Hawaiian Electric has provided the energy that has fueled Hawaii's development from a Hawaiian kingdom to a modern state. Hawaiian Electric and its subsidiaries, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light, serve 95 percent of the Hawaii's 1.4 million residents on the islands of Oahu, Maui, Hawaii Island, Lanai and Molokai. Hawaiian Electric is committed to empowering its customers and communities with affordable, reliable, clean energy and achieving a 100 percent renewable energy future for Hawaii. In 2017, 27 percent of the energy used by customers of the Hawaiian Electric Companies came from a diverse mix of renewable sources including waste-to-energy, biomass, geothermal, hydro, wind, biofuels and solar, both utility-scale and customer-sited rooftop systems. For more information, visit www.mauielectric.com.
The Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) is an educational nonprofit working to facilitate the utility industry's transition to a clean energy future through education, research, standards and collaboration. SEPA offers a range of research initiatives and resources, as well as conferences, educational events and professional networking opportunities. SEPA is founder and co-sponsor of Solar Power International and winner of the Keystone Policy Center's 2016 Leadership in Energy Award. For more information, visit www.sepapower.org.