The State of Hawaii and The University of Hawaii, College of Engineering commit to launch the The Hawaii Statewide Modern Grid-Workforce Training Deployment, a collaboration of academia and multi-sectoral partners to develop and launch a coordinated statewide curriculum and training program for the next generation of skilled smart grid technicians, electrical engineers and managers, including graduate M.S. and Ph.D. instruction and research.
This effort will engage university, community college, energy research organizations, utilities and non-profits with the State of Hawaii to recruit and retain students, initially under a scalable pilot program, in the tools of the trade to build and operate the modern electrical grid as contractors and/or consultants to the utilities or to firms supporting utility AMI installations, development of renewable energy resources, demand response, storage options, electric drive transportation and associated technologies.
The Workforce Training Deployment will expose new students, practicing engineers, technicians, trades and crafts, and utility employees to the diversified portfolio of advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and associated demand response and smart grid technologies and operating practices. A new curriculum will be developed to educate students in courses relevant to AMI deployment and operations, drawing its core content from established engineering streams as well as relevant courses from the partner universitys system knowledge base that are directly relevant to targeted grid modernization and renewable energy technologies.
The first step involves developing the appropriate course structure for smart grid education. The Smart Grid course structure will draw its core content from established engineering streams and will contain courses such as power engineering, power electronics, systems engineering, control engineering, smart grid design/structure, smart grid applications and benefits, renewable energy, energy efficiency and storage technologies.
Hawaiian Electric, the Hawaiian utility, has agreed to partner with the State in this initiative and has estimated that there will be about 75 contractors and/or consultants who will be involved on a full-time basis with the installation of AMI for an estimated 2 ½ - 3 years. Following installation, it is anticipated that approximately 30 new highly skilled engineering positions will internally support the smart grid program from within the utility.
At least 105 adults will be hired into higher skilled, higher salary, high demand positions. In three years, there will be at least 300 undergraduate and graduate students at University of Hawaii Manoa taking courses in energy and sustainability areas. University of Hawaii Manoa is also developing more targeted short courses for students and people in the community in these disciplines. These students will be trained and better prepared to work for utility companies, energy companies, national energy labs, and to serve as educators to train students. There is anticipated to be 40 Bachelor of Science students per year, 10 Master of Science students per year, and 3 Ph.D. students per year. In addition, the graduate Renewable Energy and Island Sustainability certificate will begin training five students per year at the University of Hawaii Manoa.
This endeavor is financially supported by the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute and the State of Hawaii. Outreach and recruitment will be provided by the Blue Planet Foundation, a nonprofit organization.
Specific tasks, milestones and decision points include:
Phase 1 (12/2015)* University of Hawaii partners and State review of curricula development by non-utility partners.
Milestone final changes to draft curricula and training plan, consistent with the timing and scope of the phased AMI roll-out discussed in Hawaiian Electrics updated Smart Grid Roadmap, which Hawaiian Electric will share among the parties.
Milestone Blue Planet Foundation to identify targeted communities and schools for candidates for AMI, DR and associated technologies training.
Phase 2 (6/2017)* State acceptance of curricula development by academic partners.
Milestone Final smart grid curriculum developed by academic partners.
Milestone Select precise locations for curriculum development.
Milestone Complete initial training of trainers/educators.
Milestone Commence Modern/Smart Grid-Workforce Training pilot.
Phase 3 (12/2018)* Complete Modern Grid-Workforce Training pilot.
Decision Point Final Metrics on Modern Grid-Workforce Training Deployment.
Milestone Project report completed with Education Pilot result (e.g. number of students trained and passed, estimated number of future students to be trained) validated and reported.