Hybrid Microgrid Map Pilot Project on Oahu and Renewable Energy Zone Engagement


September 7, 2022    
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

The Hawaii Energy Policy Forum invites you to attend an upcoming webinar on September 7th, from 12-1 p.m. with Hawaiian Electric and NREL. The agenda topics for this meeting are the Hybrid Microgrid Map Pilot Project on Oahu and Renewable Energy Zone Engagement. 

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Meeting ID: 995 7554 8001
Passcode: 149583


Renewable energy resources and a modernized electrical grid are key elements of Hawai’i’s transition from fossil fuels.  Hawai‘i’s energy transition supports multiple policy objectives such as energy security and resiliency, decarbonization, clean energy jobs, and lessening the impacts of oil price shocks and volatility. As electricity sales for electricity generated by renewable energy exceeds a combined 38 percent in Hawaiian Electric Company’s service territory on Oahu, Hawaii Island and Maui County, the essential role of communities to provide informed input and guidance on equitable and inclusive energy plans, policies, and strategies to better serve community needs is more important than ever.

Agenda Topic 1: Hybrid Microgrid Map Pilot Project on Oahu

To support its efforts in making its grid more resilient, HECO sought technical assistance to develop a hybrid microgrid map for O’ahu and was selected in a national solicitation under US Department of Energy’s Energy Transitions Initiative Partnership Program (ETIPP).  Hawaiian Electric’s ETIPP project will result in a static map showing areas on O‘ahu that are optimal for developing microgrids to build a more resilient electric grid.  Hawaiian Electric is collaborating in this effort with the ETIPP Regional Partner, the Hawaiʻi Natural Energy Institute (HNEI), and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, as the lead national laboratory overseeing the map design.

Grid-connected microgrids can be islanded during an outage from weather and other emergency events and continue to provide electricity through renewable generation, battery storage, and/or backup generators.  Therefore, the intended purpose of a microgrid map is to reduce initial barriers and complexities to microgrid development by identifying areas where there is the greatest demand and urgent need to maintain critical services and infrastructure when the rest of the grid experiences electrical outages.  In this webinar, our primary objective is to inform Hawaii’s leading energy stakeholders and HEPF members about the preliminary hybrid microgrid map design and seek input on the planned outreach and strategy for the upcoming community engagement effort.

  • Planned community outreach regarding the O‘ahu microgrid map will discuss the process to identify areas in Hawaiian Electric’s service territory appropriate for microgrid development that supports critical services and infrastructure during outages. Once developed and operational, Hawaiian Electric intends to expand development and publication of similar maps to other locations.  The webinar will include the following discussion for which questions and comments will be encouraged:
  • Microgrids 101: Brief explanation of a microgrid and how it works, particularly the hybrid microgrid that would require integration with Hawaiian Electric’s distribution lines and equipment in its operation – and how a microgrid can strengthen community resilience.
  • Brief explanation of role of the microgrid map under development to guide and inform suitable areas for microgrid development based on the identified criteria. Microgrids in the map will be initially focused on potential locations for development of a hybrid microgrid that has a capacity of less than 3 MW.
  • Seek, document and incorporate webinar attendee feedback on outreach agenda and process to inform communities and gather feedback on facilities and services that are most important to communities that warrant consideration of inclusion in the microgrid map.


Agenda Topic 2: Renewable Energy Zone Engagement


The webinar will also include a related discussion on Hawaiian Electric’s Hawaiʻi Powered Initiative, specifically the concept of designating renewable energy zones (REZ) in different regions on the island of O‘ahu.

  • The REZ concept will be briefly reviewed with a focus on how it relates to long-range planning to decarbonize O‘ahu’s energy system.
  • Seek HEPF stakeholder feedback on overall approach, and thoughts on public perception about renewable energy development in communities in advance to community engagement in Oahu.