Grid Modernization Technologies

Check out our detailed strategy to deploy new technologies and build a smarter, more resilient grid. Learn more >

Grid Modernization Technologies

What is Grid Modernization?

Grid modernization incorporates communications and information technologies to better manage how electricity is produced, consumed, stored and delivered. By collecting real-time data across the electric grid and enabling remote capabilities to make adjustments, grid modernization helps your energy provider to more effectively regulate fluctuations in power supply and demand and deliver power more efficiently. This gives the electric grid greater flexibility to integrate renewable energy and offer you more energy management tools and pricing options such as time-of-use rates. Learn more about our Grid Modernization Strategy.

How Does Grid Modernization Technology Work?

Grid modernization technology enhances the capabilities of the electric grid by:

  • Improving reliability: When outages take place, grid modernization technologies and advanced meters will communicate with each other and send an outage alert to your electric utility. This will allow us to quickly locate the problem area on the electric grid. In some cases, problems can be fixed remotely, allowing us to restore power to customers faster.
  • Integrating more renewable energy: Grid modernization will provide system operators and engineers with data and tools needed to help achieve Hawaii's 100 percent renewable electricity goal by improving the safe and reliable integration of greater amounts of renewable energy. Grid modernization will allow for greater flexibility to respond to changes in power flow produced by variable sources, such as wind and solar.
Future State of Grid Modernization

What are Advanced Meters?

Advanced meters are modern electric meters that enable a two-way sharing of data between your home or business and the Hawaiian Electric Companies through a secure wireless communications network. Advanced meters have a digital display and are similar in size to analog electric meters.

What can advanced meters do differently?

  • Unlike old meters that require a person to physically read the meter for billing purposes, advanced meters have the ability to capture and send electricity usage data to your electric company via wireless technology. This means fewer trucks on the roads, less gas consumed, and cost savings through improved operational efficiencies.
  • An advanced meter sends instantaneous alerts when power outages occur, allowing your electric company to locate and fix problems faster. Work crews can also send a signal to the meters to identify “pocket” outages (small sets of homes/businesses that sometimes remain out of power after majority of a circuit is restored) to ensure all customers are restored before leaving a job site.
  • Advanced meters use radio frequency (RF) to communicate across the electric grid. RF is electromagnetic energy that includes frequencies used for everyday communications such as radio and TV broadcasting, cell phones and Wi-Fi routers. For more information on RF, click here.

Advanced meters are an important part of our Grid Modernization Strategy. When installed and properly maintained, wireless advanced meters result in much smaller levels of RF exposure than many existing common household electronic devices, particularly cell phones and microwave ovens. Learn more >