SEPA names Hawaiian electric companies investor-owned utilities of the year

Published on June 15, 2018 by Kevin Randolph

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The Smart Electric Power Alliance (SEPA) recently named Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric, and Hawaii Electric Light the 2018 SEPA Power Players Investor-Owned Utilities of the Year in recognition of their grid modernization efforts.

Maui Electric was also a finalist in the Visionary of the Year category for its engagement with Molokai residents to plan its transition from diesel generation to renewable energy.

The SEPA Power Players Awards recognizes utilities, their industry partners and individuals leading the transition to a clean energy future. An independent panel of judges with experience in the electric power industry chooses the awardees.

“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,” Alan Oshima, Hawaiian Electric president and CEO, said. “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’ grid modernization strategy began with a planning process that evaluated needs at all levels of the system including customers, bulk power resources, transmission, and distribution. The process engaged customers and stakeholders from across the state.

In February 2018, the Public Utilities Commission approved implementation of a strategy to create renewable-ready island grids. The commission commended the companies for their stakeholder engagement and the incorporation of a range of technologies.

“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,” SEPA President and CEO Julia Hamm said. “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.”