Honolulu, HI, U.S.A. --- (METERING.COM) --- November 2, 2010 - The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission has given approval to Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) to use a $5.3 million federal stimulus grant to install smart grid technology.

The project, to which Hawaiian Electric is contributing $10.1 million, is part of the company’s East Oahu Transmission Project and will install computerized automated controls to portions of the electric system in urban Honolulu. This increased automation will help speed up troubleshooting during outages and reduce outage times.

Prior to receiving the federal stimulus grant, Hawaiian Electric planned to spend $28 million to install 1.9 miles of underground transmission lines between Kakaako and McCully, potentially tying up traffic for months.

By using the smart grid technology, Hawaiian Electric will be able to improve reliability in the project area by using computer controlled sensors and switches to automatically isolate outages and re-route power to affected customers. The project can also be completed with minimal construction impacts on traffic.

“This smart grid project is part of our overall effort to upgrade our system to improve reliability, increase efficiency and support the use of more clean energy,” commented Robbie Alm, Hawaiian Electric executive vice president.

The project, which will save customers nearly $18 million, is estimated to be completed by 2012.