Hawaiian Electric Companies – comprising Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric, and Hawaii Electric – announced on April 12 that it would add capacity to its Customer Grid-Supply program to allow more rooftop systems to interconnect to the grid. Estimates show that at least 20 MW is available for customers of the three companies, representing about 2,800 private rooftop solar systems. More than half of that capacity is on Oahu.
The utilities’ CGS programs credit solar customers for the excess electricity they send to the grid. A recent decision by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission created space in the CGS program by transferring it from private rooftop solar systems that were approved in the past several years but never completed.
The CGS program at all three utilities last year reached the capacity caps set by the PUC. To enable more customers to enroll, the companies proposed that space be transferred from approved but long-inactive rooftop projects.
Hundreds of CGS applications already are in line for processing. Those applications will be processed in the order received and only as capacity becomes available through October 21of this year.
In addition, to allow for more integration of private solar, the Hawaiian Electric Companies are testing the latest technologies, including advanced inverters that may be used to improve circuit conditions.
The Hawaiian Electric Companies lead the nation in the adoption of solar power. Nearly 78,500 customers have had their systems approved or installed on Oahu, Maui County, and Hawaii Island. To date, 16 percent of all customers have PV systems – representing nearly 20 times the national average