Hawaiian Electric employees win EPRI 2020 Technology Transfer Awards for innovation

Feb 25, 2021 | PC Community

Leaders recognized for research, results to advance clean energy

Seven Hawaiian Electric employees have been selected to receive the prestigious Electric Power Research Institute’s (EPRI) 2020 Technology Transfer Awards in the Power Delivery & Utilization and Generation Technology sectors. The honor recognizes their leadership and innovation on collaborative research and technology projects that produced significant results.


“These awards are ultimately about results that provide meaningful benefits to the energy industry and the public, while helping make electricity more reliable, efficient, safe, affordable, and environmentally responsible,” said Colton Ching, Hawaiian Electric senior vice president of planning and technology. “We couldn’t be prouder of our employees and their exceptional contributions to advancing clean energy technologies and initiatives.”

The winners and awards are:

Henry Lee, director of system operation, Troy Uyehara,superintendent of operating planning, and Michelle Sakata, operations engineer, for Advanced Tools and Methods for Integrating Renewables and DER. Lee, Uyehara, Sakata,and the System Operation team applied and tested EPRI tools to more efficiently integrate renewable and distributed energy resources on to the electric grid while maintaining reliability of Hawaiian Electric’s generation supply.

Jimmy Yao,manager of electrification of transportation, for Electric Vehicle and Infrastructure Modeling for Deployment Programs. Yao was part of a collaborative team of eight utilities from 13 states that investigated incentives – such as free parking, HOV lane access and green electricity – for advancing futureelectric vehicle adoption across different customer demographics and segments.

Alan Hirayama, principle distribution planning engineer, andAlan Lee, senior distribution planning engineer, forProbabilistic Hosting Capability. The duo incorporated time-based probabilistic analysis capability for the growth of distributed energy resources across Hawaiian Electric’s five-island service territory.

Karin Kimura, director of environmental division, for Accurate Assessment of NO2 (Nitrogen dioxide) and NOx (Nitrogen oxide) at Fossil Fuel Power Plants. Kimura’s research/analysis improved understanding of in-stack ratios of NO2 and NOX to better assist generating units in meeting air quality standards and achieving permitting of the units.


EPRI is an independent nonprofit that conducts research, development and demonstration projects for the benefit of the public in the U.S. and internationally. Membership is comprised of more than 1,000 organizations worldwide including electric utilities, business, government agencies, regulators and public or private entities involved in some aspect of the generation, delivery or use of electricity. The annual EPRI Technology Transfer Awards spotlight the value of collaborative research to the electricity sector and customers, and recognize the leaders and innovators who have applied EPRI research to produce significant results.