Honeywell announces a pilot program with Hawaiian Electric Co. in Honolulu to demonstrate how demand response technology can help integrate more intermittent renewable energy to the electric grid. During the two-year pilot, the utility will connect with commercial and industrial customers to temporarily reduce the need for electricity — critical to maintaining grid reliability as Hawaii reduces fossil-fuel dependence.

Hawaiian Electric will conduct a test of “fast demand response” (Fast DR) technology, which gives the utility and facilities the tools to reduce demand within 10 minutes of notification of a pending imbalance between supply and demand. Companies receive an incentive to participate, and when Fast DR events are triggered, they receive an additional per-kilowatt-hour incentive credit. This can translate into thousands of dollars in annual savings.

The pilot will validate the technical design and tariffs for a full-scale demand response program to support Hawaii's renewable energy goals. In addition, it will contribute to a broader statewide effort to increase energy independence, security and sustainability.

Currently, Hawaiian Electric relies on fossil-fuel generation to manage the inherent intermittency associated with certain types of renewable energy and other interruptions in grid stability. Fast DR has the potential to reduce the use of fossil fuels to balance the increased integration of renewable energy in Hawaii.

The pilot will help Hawaiian Electric create direct connections to loads at commercial and industrial facilities. For the first phase, Honeywell will work with Hawaiian Electric to enroll and connect customers to a regional operating center. If demand outpaces supply, Hawaiian Electric will trigger a notice for customers to reduce demand within 10 minutes, providing more than 6 MW of semi-automated load control when the program is fully subscribed.

A second phase will feature the use of automated demand response (Auto DR) tools from Honeywell, including Akuacom and Tridium technologies. Hawaiian Electric will use the Demand Response Automation Server (DRAS) software from Akuacom to manage its resources and events. At each customer facility, a Tridium smart grid controller will poll the DRAS for event signals. When the utility triggers an event, the controller will receive the signal and communicate with the site's building management system to automatically execute load-shed measures the customer sets in advance, such as cycling air conditioners and turning off nonessential lights, pumps and motors.

The smart grid controller also sends data from the facility's electricity meter back to the DRAS every 5 minutes so the utility has immediate feedback on the decrease in demand.

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