Hawaii Hosts Major Smart Grid Demonstration Project

A smart grid demonstration project in Hawaii is about to begin – its goal is to establish a model for integrating clean energy into the grid along with other cutting-edge technologies.

The system being tested mitigates the impact of variable renewable energy generation and uses renewable energy efficiently. Another objective is to standardize how a low-carbon infrastructure can be deployed to other islands and semitropical regions all over the world.

The project will be developed on Maui, where a high percentage of renewable energy is already in place. 

This is a joint project by the U.S. and Japan, based on the Japan-U.S. Clean Energy Technologies Action Plan, which was agreed to following the Japan-U.S. Heads of State Summit held in November 2009.

Hitachi has been selected to direct the project after conducting a feasibility study this year. Contractors will cooperate with the State of Hawaii, Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc., the University of Hawaii, and the U.S. National Labs. It’s expected to be completed in early 2014 and has a $37 million budget.

Elements include: 

  • A goal of "Advanced load shift" for maximum use of renewable energy
  • "Direct control" of home electric appliances and PV generation output control by smart PCS to withstand rapid changes in power supply and demand
  • "EV/PHEV management system" coordinated with the grid management system for the impact of electric and plug-in vehicle penetration
  • "Cyber security" to improve safe operation of the system
  • "Autonomous control architecture" for system scalability and highly responsive energy control
  • Evolution of community and infrastructure based on the integrated control system of EV/PHEV management system and the grid management system using the latest information and communication and control technology to improve quality of life
  • Establish business models and assessment tools for remote island social infrastructure systems based on the project results
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