Customers who want solar still have options even as the capacity limit for rooftop solar systems that send excess power to the Hawaii Island grid is almost reached.
The Customer Grid-Supply program is approaching the 5-megawatt capacity limit set by the state Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for Hawaii Island. As of this week, the capacity of approved systems under the grid-supply program totals over four megawatts. However, customers will still be able to buy rooftop systems that don’t export to the grid but still offset a substantial part of their electric bill.
Under a Customer Self-Supply option, households are able to generate their own electricity and potentially store energy for use after the sun goes down. The PUC created the self-supply program as an alternative to the grid-supply program.
“On Hawaii Island, renewable energy is at an all-time high and comprises almost 50 percent of our generation mix,” said Jay Ignacio, Hawaii Electric Light president. “Rooftop solar power is an important part of our plans to get to 100 percent renewable energy and we’re continuing to develop more options for customers to support our state’s renewable energy goals.”
Solar providers are developing a variety of self-supply systems that meet the technical specifications set by the PUC. This will ensure continued safe, reliable service for all customers and provide opportunities for more customers to enjoy the benefits of solar energy.
For more information, go to https://www.hawaiielectriclight.com/distributedenergyresources.
Customers on Oahu may continue to apply for the Grid-Supply program. Customers should choose a system that’s the right size for their household, meaning the system matches their actual energy use. Buying a system that is larger than necessary will cost more upfront and will not necessarily save more money than a right-sized system. In addition, customers who install right-sized systems help leave room on the grid for more customers to have rooftop solar.