Silver Spring Networks Selected for Maui Smart Grid Project

  • Posted on: 11 November 2011
  • By: chw staff

Silver Spring Networks, a leading smart grid networking platform and solutions provider,  has been selected by Maui Electric Company (MECO) and the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute at the University of Hawaii (HNEI) to deploy a strategic and innovative smart grid project  on the island of  Maui. The project will test the effectiveness of smart grid technologies in helping MECO and its customers reach and exceed the State of Hawaii’s goal of meeting 70% of its energy needs with clean energy by 2030. 

The Maui Smart Grid Project will evaluate the use of smart grid technologies to integrate renewable energy sources such as wind and solar photovoltaic, reduce increasing costs and improve management related to rising peak demand, operate the electricity grid more efficiently through improved asset utilization and restore power outages more quickly and safely. 

MECO residential customers in the Kihei area of South Maui will have the opportunity to participate in this important project to improve the long term energy demands for Hawaii in pursuit of the 2030 goal.   Volunteer participants will be able to evaluate detailed information of their usage on an energy management web portal and in-home devices such as smart thermostats that will be made available as part of the project.

Silver Spring is developing the customer engagement and education program for the project in close partnership with MECO and HNEI.  In addition, Silver Spring will provide its leading Smart Energy Platform that includes CustomerIQ, Silver Spring’s web-based energy management portal, advanced metering, demand response and distribution automation solutions.

“We are pleased to be working with MECO and HNEI in their efforts to better serve their customers and meet the growing energy demands of the island and state,” said Scott Lang, Chairman, President and CEO of Silver Spring. “This deployment shows a serious commitment to integrating renewable energy, changing the relationship with MECOs customers and providing Maui and Hawaii with energy independence and cleaner energy, today and in the future.”

 “Improving each island’s electricity grid through new smart grid technologies is a key element of Hawaii’s landmark clean energy goals,” said Dr. James Griffin, project director for the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute at the University of Hawaii (HNEI).  “Through the experiences of Maui residents in this project, we will learn valuable lessons about the best ways to modernize Hawaii’s electricity system.”

“We want  to add as much clean energy as possible to our stand-alone island grid as quickly as possible.  So we’re looking to initiatives like the Maui Smart Grid Project to help us ensure our customers continue to receive reliable service while benefiting from increased use of solar and wind power,” said Maui Electric Company’s President Ed Reinhardt.

The U.S. Department of Energy is funding this initiative as part of a nationwide set of demonstration projects.  HNEI and MECO are the lead organizations on the project.  Other project partners include the Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO), County of Maui, Maui Economic Development Board, Sustainable Living Institute of Maui at the University of Hawaii-Maui College, HNU Energy, and SRA International.