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Hawaiian Electric, Varentec to install grid voltage technology on Oahu

Hawaiian Electric Co. Inc. plans to install Varentec Inc.'s grid voltage regulation technology at three Oahu substations with a high distribution of photovoltaic solar generation.

Varentec will deploy 100 Edge of Network Grid Optimization devices and its Grid Edge Management System platform. The project, co-funded by Elemental Excelerator, is an expansion of the pilot project, which began in August 2016.

The project will help Hawaiian Electric reach its goal of 100% renewable portfolio standard objectives by 2045 through reducing voltage fluctuations and increasing residential photovoltaic hosting capacity into the power grid at a lower cost to customers in the Kahuku, Waimanalo and Manoa neighborhoods of Oahu.

"Our first pilot project with Varentec let us test cutting-edge technology to open up capacity for rooftop solar on two PV-saturated circuits and also minimize the need for costly upgrades," Hawaiian Electric Senior Vice President of Planning and Technology Colton Ching said in a Dec. 19 release. "We're excited to expand our pilot into other service areas and learn more about these new technologies as we modernize our electric grid."

Hawaiian Electric Co. is a subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc.