University of Hawaii

Electrical Engineering

Managing Variability on the Grid

Date: 2010-11-18           Add to Google Calendar
Time: 4:30 to 5:30pm
Location: Holmes Hall 244
Speaker: Mr. Dean Arakawa and Dr. Dora Nakafuji

 Managing Variability on the Grid

About the speakers: Dean Arakawa and Dora Nakafuji are engineers within Hawaiian Electric Company’s
newly created Renewable Energy Planning Division (XP). Staff members within the XP Division are responsible
for coordinating a number of renewable integration initiatives across the family of Hawaiian Electric Companies
on Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lanai and the Big Island of Hawaii. Dean received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering
from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and has been with Hawaiian Electric for over 20 years working as an
electrical engineer in the power plant engineering division overseeing power plant maintenance and operations.
He is currently lead on a number of planning efforts to evaluate power plant transformational efforts in order to
accommodate more renewables. Dora has a Ph.D. in Aeronautical and Mechanical Engineer from the University
of California at Davis and has been with Hawaiian Electric since April of 2009. She joins HECO with over 12
years of experience working with utilities and industry on renewable technology development and integration
efforts. She also serves as an adjunct professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa working with REIS faculty
on workforce development and training needs.


Hawaii is blessed with abundant natural wind and solar resources and like mainland utilities are contending with
challenges of managing variability but on small, islanded grids. Meeting Hawaii’s future energy needs will take
a variety of actions including:
• Managing and maintaining existing infrastructure including existing renewable projects
• Reliably adding more renewables
• Greening existing utility power plants
• Encourage energy conservation and efficiency
Like fitting a square peg into a round hole there are fundamental challenge for integrating variable resources onto
the electric grid. What are the integration challenges? How does it impact our island grids and existing
infrastructure? What can be done to reliably accommodate renewables? Come learn more about innovative
actions and strategies that Hawaiian Electric is investigating to manage utility resources and reliably
accommodate renewable resources onto the grid.