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Verizon Partners Hawaiian Electric to Boost Solar Energy Use

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Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ - Free Report) has joined forces with Hawaiian Electric, a subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. (HE - Free Report) , to modernize Hawaii's power grids to better manage the increasing number of renewable energy resources and achieve 100% renewable energy objective. No financial information regarding the partnership was disclosed.

For the first time, a utility firm will utilize Verizon’s existing 4G LTE network infrastructure for communication purposes specific to solar systems. The use of Verizon's technology will initially be limited to the Customer Grid-Supply Plus (CGS+) program. Its existing infrastructure and services will enable Honolulu-based Hawaiian Electric to accommodate CGS+ customers without compromising grid reliability.

Verizon reportedly has the best cellular coverage in the state of Hawaii. The deployment of advanced meters with Verizon’s network capability is likely to start shortly. The capacity of the CGS+ program varies across Hawaiian Electric's service territories.

This new partnership is solely for the CGS+ program. However, the use of Verizon's GridWide technology could be expanded beyond CGS+ customers. By using Verizon's GridWide technology, Hawaiian Electric will be able to detect and monitor the power moving to the grid from consumer-owned solar systems.

The CGS+ program allows customers to export excess solar energy generated by their private rooftop systems to the grid throughout the day. Customers who join the program are required to use equipment for managing output and this is where Verizon's GridWide technology comes into the picture.

Over the past three months, shares of Verizon have rallied 5.6% against the industry’s decline of 1.9%.         

Verizon currently has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Better-ranked stocks in the industry include Comtech Telecommunications Corp. (CMTL - Free Report) and Motorola Solutions, Inc. (MSI - Free Report) , both sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.              

Comtech has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 5%. It beat earnings estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average being 123.7%.         

Motorola has a long-term earnings growth expectation of 8%. It beat earnings estimates in each of the trailing four quarters, the average being 12.1%.   

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