Solar groups trying to raise grid-supply cap in Hawaii

Hawaii solar grid

A notable group of solar industry installers and associations filed a request to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission to increase the capacity for its grid-supply option. This grid supply option is one of two tariffs (the other being self-supply) that replaced net metering in the state; it provides customers the option of exporting excess energy to the grid in exchange for energy credits to their bill. This is has been by far the more popular of the two options.

Sunpower and the Alliance for Solar Choice, the main groups involved, noted that the option will soon be capped out – their estimates showing some islands capping out the first week of June and the rest joining them by August.

Well, unsurprisingly, the Hawaiian Electric Co. is opposing the request. From the Pacific Business News:

The state’s largest utility, through its attorneys, said this week there is a limit to the amount of load to be served, and the state and PUC need to determine how best to serve this load so that it is both cost effective and reliable for all customers.

The article also noted that solar employment in the state is declining rapidly, with “70 percent of surveyed solar firms reporting workforce reductions of 35 percent on average since the net energy metering program was ended by state regulators this past fall.”

— Solar Builder magazine


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