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Maui Ranked 7th in US for Solar

April 17, 2012, 1:27 PM HST · Updated April 20, 5:27 PM
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The MACC Solar panel system in Kahului is also interconnected with Maui Electric Company. Photo by Wendy Osher.

Posted by Wendy Osher

Maui Electric Company is ranked seventh in the nation in a list of top utilities for solar power.

In 2011, Maui Electric Company reported a 100.2 watts-per-customer rate, an increase from its 22.8 rate a year before.

The Solar Electric Power Association announced the ranking at their annual Utility Solar Conference in Tuscon, Arizona this week.

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Also included on the list was Hawaii Electric Company, whose annual watts-per-customer rate was 82.9 in 2011, up from 33.2 the year before.

“A high ranking is recognition of the continuing growth of solar power, almost all roof-top panels, across Hawaii,” said Scott Seu, Hawaiian Electric vice president for energy resources in a media statement today. “And it is great to see other utilities across the country adding solar and jumping into the top ten. We are very happy with our standing and we are determined to continue adding customer-sited and utility scale solar power as quickly as possible,” said Seu.

SEPA president and CEO, Julia Hamm congratulated MECO and HECO for being solar power leaders in the electric utility sector. “The Hawaiian Electric companies continue to allow a significant amount of solar energy to be integrated into their grids last year which bring the many benefits of clean solar energy to its customers,” she said.

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According to SEPA findings, utilities across the nation interconnected more than 62,000 PV systems in 2011. SEPA officials say these new systems resulted in almost 1,500 megawatts of new utility solar capacity, more than twice as much as was added in 2010.

The top 10 utilities alone, reported adding more than 1,000 megawatts of solar electricity capacity last year.

SEPA officials noted the diversity of large and small solar resources saying, “Their success is showing that solar can be a generation resource today for virtually any utility.”

***Supporting Information courtesy MECO/HECO.
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