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Hawaiian Electric, Varentec to test rooftop solar technology

Varentec Inc. is partnering with Hawaiian Electric Co. Inc. to test technology that wouldenable more rooftop solar on island grids, according to an April 5 statement.

Hawaiian Electric, a HawaiianElectric Industries Inc. subsidiary, will start a pilot project on theisland of O'ahu that will use Varentec's Edge of Network Grid Optimizers and GridEdge Management System platform to minimize voltage fluctuations along the distributiongrid and ensure reliable operations along a neighborhood circuit with high levelof distributed solar generation.

"A key challenge resulting from a large number of rooftopsolar systems feeding excess electricity into a neighborhood circuit is increasedvoltage instability for all customers, with or without rooftop solar. Higher thanallowed voltage can trip off rooftop solar systems, damage home appliances and couldendanger utility crews working on the grid. Hawaiian Electric and Varentec believethe unique capabilities of Varentec's system-level, dynamic-control technology canaddress voltage issues at a lower cost to customers than other alternatives considered,"the companies said in a statement.