Big Island Utility Hits 5-MW Cap on Customer-Operator Rooftop Solar Credits

Hawaiian Electric’s Big Island subsidiary, Hawaiian Electric Light, has reached its cap on a rooftop solar energy program created by state regulators, Pacific Business News reported on August 24.

The Customer Grid Supply program was intended to provide customers with the option of exporting excess energy to the grid in exchange for energy credits on their bills, to the extent such energy export provides benefits to the electric system.

Hawaii Electric Light is the second utility in the islands to say “Aloha” to customer-operator energy credits offered under the Customer Grid Supply plan approved by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission.

It follows Maui Electric Co. in reaching its 5-megawatt (MW) cap for the grid-supply program, the utility said.

A new kind of rooftop solar system called Customer Self-Supply that enables households to generate their own electricity and to potentially store energy for use after the sun goes down is now being approved by the Hawaiian Electric and installed on island homes.

Customers will still be able to purchase rooftop systems that don’t export to the grid but still offset a substantial part of their electric bill,” Ian Morikawa, director of Distributed Energy Resources Programs for Hawaii Electric Light told Pacific Business News.

Hawaiian Electric, which services Oahu, is 22 percent away from reaching its 25-MW cap.

“Through the Customer Self-Supply program, households are able to generate their own electricity and potentially store energy for use after the sun goes down,” Morikawa said.

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