Hawaiian Electric Asserts Continued Approval of PV Installs

February 27, 2015, 9:48 AM HST · Updated February 27, 9:49 AM
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uhmc_pv_330By Maui Now Staff

Hawaiian Electric Companies has asserted that it is continuing to accept solar PV applications through the current net energy metering process, responding to contrary reports. The companies are making substantial progress in clearing pending applications on circuits that already have high volumes of solar, said a recent HEC press release.

According to the companies, a recent letter sent from Hawaiʻi Electric Light Company to Hawaiʻi Island customers applying for solar in a high-demand area was misinterpreted by a national solar group as an effort to halt solar installations.

“We apologize for the confusion and want to assure our customers that we are continuing to process solar applications,” said Jim Alberts, Hawaiian Electric senior vice president for customer service. “We are reviewing our notification procedures to improve communication with our customers. We know rooftop PV is an important option for our customers. We are continuing to follow the current net energy metering process while the Public Utilities Commission considers our proposal to transition to a fairer, more sustainable program.”

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Roughly 12 percent of Hawaiian Electric Companies’ customers have rooftop PV systems. This number compares with a national average of less than one percent of utilities customers with solar.

The push for PV by the Hawaiian Electric Companies is part of a long-term effort to meet three goals by 2030: triple the amount of distributed solar power, attain 65 percent in renewable energy usage, and lower customer bills by 20 percent.

The companies report that more than 3,000 net energy metering applications have been approved since the beginning of the year statewide.

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