Japan and Hawaii Join forces for Smart Grid Demonstration Project

December 2, 2011

Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie met with Hideo Hato, president of New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), an arm of Japan’s Ministry of Economy. The two leaders signed a memorandum of understanding, signifying a partnership between NEDO and Hawaii to build a new smart grid demonstration project on the island of Maui.

This smart grid project is the first of its kind and is part of the Hawaii-Okinawa Partnership on Clean and Efficient Energy Development and Deployment. The United States and Japan designated Hawaii and Okinawa as the representatives of each country for their demonstrated, groundbreaking leadership in clean energy and energy efficiency.

The $37 million smart grid demonstration project is scheduled to begin in late 2012 and go online in 2013; it will improve the way renewable resources like solar and wind power are integrated into the electric grid on the island. The project will also help prepare the electric grid for with the widespread adoption of electric vehicles on the island.

Hawaii has one of the most aggressive clean energy goals in the world: reducing oil dependence in the state by 70% by the year 2030. The state currently has 66 renewable energy projects taking place, and is a perfect test-location for projects like the smart grid. To learn more about the Hawaii and Okinawa partnership and the smart grid project, read the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism press release.