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Maui County schools receive new energy-monitoring devices and software

By Staff | Jul 7, 2016

Maui Electric installs the Stem Inc. technology at Iao Intermediate School.

KAHULUI – All public elementary, middle and high schools in Maui Electric’s service territory on Maui, Lanai and Molokai, as well as sister Hawaiian Electric Companies’ areas of Hawaii Island and Oahu, are receiving new, intelligent, energy-monitoring devices and software.

This is being accomplished through a unique collaboration among Stem Inc., a California-based leader in software-driven energy storage; Hawaiian Electric Companies; Energy Excelerator; and the Hawaii Department of Education (DOE).

As more public schools add classroom cooling, solar power, efficient lighting and other energy efficiency equipment, balancing costs and energy use become increasingly important. It will require active monitoring and management of high-use devices like air-conditioning systems.

Stem’s high-resolution PowerMonitors will collect and transmit real-time energy use and cost data through its associated PowerScope software. Individual schools and DOE energy managers will be able to access this new level of energy data through PowerScope’s interactive web-supported applications on laptops, tablets and smart phones to adapt efficiency measures and uncover savings opportunities at each school site.

Installation at all public schools on Maui, Lanai, Molokai and Hawaii Island has been completed, and Oahu public schools are expected to be complete in the first week of July.

“The Hawaii State Department of Education’s heat abatement efforts depend on working with energy partners to ensure that we can cool as many classrooms as possible,” said Dann Carlson, assistant superintendent for the Office of School Facilities and Support Services.

“Stem’s software, installed with the support of Hawaiian Electric, will give us the information we need to efficiently and cost-effectively add climate controls to the ultimate benefit of our students, faculty and the broader community.”

Support for installation of energy monitoring equipment comes in part from Hawaiian Electric Companies’ Smart Power for Schools (formerly Sun Power for Schools) program, funded by donations from customers and the utility.

The Hawaiian Electric Companies, which includes Maui Electric, will also have access to data from these energy systems to more effectively assist customers and help manage grid operations across the five islands.

“Hawaiian Electric is committed to meeting Hawaii’s 100 percent renewable generation goals and continually improving the services we provide,” said Shelee Kimura, vice president for corporate planning and business development. “By working with leading technology providers like Stem and through collaborative partnerships like that with the DOE, we will meet our goals cost-effectively and efficiently while enhancing the services available to our valued customers.”

The collaboration is part of a larger PowerScope Deployment Program offered by the Hawaiian Electric Companies to help up to 400 commercial and industrial customers monitor and manage energy use and make wise alternative energy decisions, including selection and right-sizing of PV solar or energy storage systems.

Commercial and industrial customers (including private schools) interested in participating should contact their Maui Electric commercial account representative for more information.

This marks Stem’s first expansion beyond intelligent energy storage to provide monitoring and management software as a service for utilities and their customers.

The collaboration is also supported by the Hawaii Energy Excelerator, a program of the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research.