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Special Report

Grids Turn to High-Resolution Climate Analytics as a Strategic Tool for Resiliency Planning


State-of-the-art Earth and data science enable forward-thinking utilities like Hawaiian Electric to prepare for climate-change-driven extreme weather

“Hawaiian Electric is a pioneer in planning for climate resilience. Jupiter’s mission is to partner with companies and organizations like it to enable them to prepare for a new and challenging reality.” —Rich Sorkin, Jupiter Intelligence CEO

As climate change causes more frequent and more extreme weather events—storm surges, hurricanes, high winds, prolonged precipitation, extremes of heat and cold, wildfires, and drought—major electric utilities worldwide are collaborating with private industry, academia, and stakeholders (especially their customers) to improve grid resiliency and optimize the safe and reliable delivery of electric energy.

Hawaiian Electric is one such visionary utility.

“We sought more sophisticated data and forecasting tools for long-term planning,” says Colton Ching, Hawaiian Electric’s senior vice president of planning and technology. “By adding Jupiter’s climate risk analytics into our integrated grid planning process, we are significantly advancing our ability to make better decisions about the need, location, and timing of investment to cost effectively provide the level of electric system resilience our customers expect.”

Jupiter climate-risk data is integral to the utility’s multi-year Integrated Grid Planning efforts. The Jupiter services assess physical climate change risks and, at the asset level and over a 30-year time horizon, are designed to help Hawaiian Electric optimize the resiliency of its generation, transmission, and distribution infrastructure. They will help the utility harden the grid across the five islands that Hawaiian Electric serves.

In September 2020, Hawaiian Electric issued their first consolidated Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report featuring Jupiter’s state-of-the-art climate analytics to inform its infrastructure plans and bank’s underwriting practices and ongoing monitoring of its loan portfolio with respect to sea level rise, flood and wind-related risk.

This Jupiter Intelligence special report, part one in a series, examines the urgency behind climate resiliency initiatives in the electric utilities industry; the essential role that high-resolution risk modeling, based on novel data sources and best-in-science climate analytics, can play in these efforts; and the noteworthy efforts being undertaken by Hawaiian Electric and other pioneers among utilities.

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