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Smart Grid Project Improves Grid Reliability for Oahu, Hawaii

Siemens is helping Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) implement a comprehensive smart grid solution that provides a reliable power supply to residents of Oahu, Hawaii.

Project Scope

In West Oahu in Hawaii, the island’s two main transmission corridors are linked together by transmission lines between power plants and substations. A similar connection does not exist in East Oahu.

In April 2010, Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO), as part of the utility’s $5.3 million share of United States federal smart grid stimulus funds, selected Siemens to provide a comprehensive smart grid solution. The East Oahu Transmission Project will address overload and reliability concerns in East Oahu.

The first completed phase of the project included installation of new transformers to shift the load from the north to the south corridor. The second phase initially included a plan to install an additional transformer and new underground lines in heavily populated areas, which was an expensive and time-consuming prospect.

With guidance from Siemens, HECO opted instead to take a smart grid design approach and automate high-load distribution circuits to feed sections of East Oahu.

Our Solutions

Siemens’ project scope includes establishing an intelligent 46 kV substation and sub-transmission infrastructure integrated with the existing control center system. The project components feature sub-transmission automation, which includes installation of intelligent substation controllers, automated switches and reclosers to quickly isolate and restore power. This forms the basis of a self-healing grid.

Additional components include: an advanced control center grid visualization, intelligent information analysis and filtering, and tools for predictive analysis of operational issues; a cost-effective standard and open communication for the 46 kV sub-transmission system that feeds the 12 kV distribution system; and development of a standard installation process.

Benefits for the Customer

The East Oahu project will cost significantly less than traditional design methods. It will modernize the grid and improve reliability of electric service for more than half of HECO’s customers in Oahu. Furthermore, it will greatly reduce outage durations: in many cases from two to four hours down to a few minutes. HECO will be able to provide a cost-effective and efficient self-healing grid that provides improved decision speed, coordination and reliability.

Siemens’ approach is an alternative to construction of new infrastructure, which significantly reduces environmental permitting and minimizes disruption to the local community.

The Infrastructure & Cities project with HECO demonstrates that Siemens understands the complete energy conversion chain and is able to transform today’s grid into a living infrastructure that is smart enough to respond quickly, flexibly and comprehensively to society's energy needs.

02/17/2013