Hawaii-Okinawa Partnership

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State government and energy officials joined Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie and Japan-based New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) President Hideo Hato in early February as the two men signed a memorandum of understanding to memorialize ongoing efforts between the State of Hawaii and NEDO. (NEDO is an arm of Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.)

The two are set to build a first-of-its-kind smart grid demonstration project on the island of Maui. The multi-million-dollar project is aimed at improving integration of variable renewable resources, such as solar and wind power, and preparing the electric system for widespread adoption of electric vehicles.

The project, part of the Hawaii-Okinawa Partnership on Clean Energy and Efficient Energy Development and Deployment, will invest $37 million in the development of advanced smart grid technology.