Smart Meters on Maui

SOURCE: Ken Taylor ( SUBHEAD: It is surprising to learn that the information collected by Maui smart meters goes directly to the mainland. By Debra Greene on 16 May 2012 via email in Island Breath - ( Image above: Maui Meadows is above the Piilani Highway in Kihei on the westside below Mount Haleakala. From GoogleEarth. Did you know that May is electromagnetic radiation (EMR) awareness month? In the US alone, over 9.8 million people suffer from sensitivity to EMR. How ironic that this month was chosen for the deployment of smart meters on Maui. Last Friday I met with the Maui Smart Grid Project Manager Jay Griffin, along with project liasion David Raatz of the Maui Economic Development Board, and others. I asked about smart meters being installed elsewhere on Maui, besides Maui Meadows, and was assured this is not happening. Apparently there are digital meters installed, especially for those with photovoltaic systems, and these are called net or networked meters. They are required for those with PVs because they allow for energy to be fed back to MECO. The net meters resemble smart meters but, according to Griffin, they do not have memory and are not connected to the communication system in Maui Meadows, which is connected to ... well ... read on. I also asked about smart meters on Oahu and was told of a smart meter pilot project that ended there about two years ago. Apparently 9400 smart meters were installed on Oahu as part of the project. When pressed, Griffin admitted that project did not go well, but he would not elaborate. When I searched the internet I found that the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) denied a HECO request for a second pilot project. Apparently the PUC was concerned about cost effectiveness and the Hawaii Solar Energy Association, who opposed the second pilot project, questioned whether smart meters are even practical. I sure hope Maui is not being targeted because of a failed project on Oahu. I also found out that as of Thursday, May 10, there were still only 110 people signed up for smart meters on Maui (the goal was 200). Apparently this number has not changed since March. Also as of Thursday, 25 of 110 meters had been installed in Maui Meadows. Of those, six were fully communicating with the Silver Springs network in Redwood, California. I have to admit that after all the references to UH and MECO, I was surprised to learn that the information collected by smart meters from homes in Maui Meadows goes to the mainland. This did not give me a warm fuzzy feeling inside. Then I read about the formation of two organizations whose mission is, among other things, to "support rapid implementation of smart grid technologies" and create "a mechanism for multilateral government-to-government collaboration to advance the development and deployment of smart grid technologies." They are the Global Smart Grid Federation (GSGF) and the International Smart Grid Action Network (ISGAN). I don't know about you but I get very nervous when systems become too big. Reminds me of mono-cropping and multinational corporations. My experience is that smaller systems are sustainable systems. There's so much information to share and I don't want to spam the list so I have been posting to the Message Board on the website. Please check it out for newsworthy items and interesting links. Thanks to those of you who have contributed as well. Keep posting! By the way, volunteers are needed for several things. Please reply to this email. I do have a day job! If you're on Maui, reminder of the informational meeting in Kihei Wednesday, May 15 (tonight), 6-8 p.m. Kihei Charter School in Lipoa Center (the old Hapa's). Would love to see you there! .

1 comment :

  1. Interesting that the rich people of Maui Meadows are allowing themselves to be some of the first guinea pigs.