SOLAR FINDS TROUBLE IN HAWAIIAN PARADISE
Hawaiian Electric affirms commitment to solar; Boasting one of the highest levels of installed solar power in the country, Hawaiian Electric has rejected the findings of a recent poll and claims that it has "a significant public image problem."
Edgar Meza, 25 April 2014 (PV Magazine)
Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) denies intentionally slowing rooftop solar interconnections to limit the impact of customer-sourced distributed generation (DG) on its revenues but a recent poll paid for by The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC) found that while 94 percent of Hawaiians want more rooftop solar 90 percent believe HECO is slowing the integration of it into the grid. HECO does not lose revenues from increased DG because its current rate structure allows for cost recovery, according to a utility spokesperson. HECO is 10th in the U.S. for megawatts of installed solar capacity, ahead of bigger utilities, and helped grow Hawaii solar 39% in 2013. Less than half of those polled had a favorable opinion of HECO, according to TASC. The HECO spokesperson noted the utility doubled rooftop solar on its grid annually from 2008 to 2012 and has an 11% solar penetration on Oahu while utilities in California, Arizona and other sunny states are at 2% to 3%. HECO’s high DG penetration has resulted in technical issues on the circuit and system level other states are only just now talking about, a HECO source recently said, and it is working on solar interconnections on circuits that can handle them safely and reliably. click here for more