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New Plan for Rooftop Solar Connections to Grid

HECO's plan to increase grid capacity for rooftop solar.
January 30, 2015

New Plan for Rooftop Solar Connections to Grid

Hawaii's march toward cheaper, renewable energy sources is struggling with a bit of a bottleneck. No, it's not the cost of rooftop solar installation for customers, it's the number of installations that the grid can integrate. The good news is that Hawaiian Electric Co. (HECO) has recently proposed a new plan to increase the number of systems that can connect to the grid. If you're looking for real estate in South Maui, you may have already noticed that rooftop solar is becoming prevalent. This makes a whole lot of sense, considering that we live in one of the sunniest places on the island, especially given the cost required to power a Maui home. Integrating more PV systems is an important step to reducing energy bills, assuming they can do so with stability and safety. new plan for rooftop solar connections to grid

The plan will accommodate more than double the current threshold for neighborhood circuits. Specifically, it will allow a jump from 120 percent of daytime minimum load to 250 percent. To do this safely, HECO will implement new performance standards that were established via the results of their study with SolarCity and the Electric Power Research Institute. The study involved solar inverter performance testing. Basically, inverters convert power from the solar panels into a form of electricity that can be used by the plugs in homes.HECO will implement new performance standards that were established via the results of their study with SolarCity and the Electric Power Research Institute. The study involved solar inverter performance testing. Basically, inverters convert power from the solar panels into a form of electricity that can be used by the plugs in homes.

Numerous improvements are expected as these standards are raised, including a lower risk of outages, damage to electronics in customers' homes and utility equipment on the grid, and safety hazards for electrical line workers.

To enhance stability of renewable integration, HECO is also planning several pilot projects focusing on solar battery systems with local and national PV companies here in Hawaii.

All these efforts are part of HECO's clean energy plan to lower electric bills by 20 percent by increasing renewables to 65 percent of the total share of Hawaii's energy. As for customer savings, many residents are still waiting to see, rather than believe. Implementing more renewable energy requires infrastructure changes, and that transition comes with its own cost. We won't truly know whether electric bills will drop until HECO's clean energy plan to lower electric bills by 20 percent by increasing renewables to 65 percent of the total share of Hawaii's energy. As for customer savings, many residents are still waiting to see, rather than believe. Implementing more renewable energy requires infrastructure changes, and that transition comes with its own cost. We won't truly know whether electric bills will drop until HECO clears that hurdle, but here's hoping for the best.

Mahalo for reading this week!

Blogs for January 2015

New Plan for Rooftop Solar Connections to Grid

Posted on January 30, 2015
New Plan for Rooftop Solar Connections to Grid

Hawaii's march toward cheaper, renewable energy sources is struggling with a bit of a bottleneck. No, it's not the cost of rooftop solar installation for customers, it's the number of installations that the grid can integrate. The good news is that Hawaiian Electric… Continue Reading

Five Diamond Rating Awarded to Four Seasons Resort

Posted on January 23, 2015
Five Diamond Rating Awarded to Four Seasons Resort

AAA Hawaii has recently announced the establishments that received their Five Diamond Rating for 2014. Unsurprisingly, two of them were Maui resorts.

The other winners included two restaurants on Oahu, which were Chef Mavro and La Mer, along with one resort on the Big… Continue Reading

Maui Yo-Yo Ma Concert

Posted on January 16, 2015
Maui Yo-Yo Ma Concert

Every so often, we like to take a break from our serious Maui real estate blog topics and point out something fun to our readers. After all, choosing to live on Maui isn't all about home prices and economic trends. Sometimes, it's worth discussing the opportunities for… Continue Reading

Hawaii Accommodations Tax Revenue

Posted on January 09, 2015
Hawaii Accommodations Tax Revenue

Last year was a good one for Hawaii, not just because of the visitor industry records and their beneficial impact on the economy, but also for the state's tax revenue from those sources. If you're thinking about buying a Maui home for use as a vacation rental… Continue Reading

Hawaii Economic Update Luncheon

Posted on January 02, 2015
Hawaii Economic Update Luncheon

If you read our last blog about Bank of Hawaii claiming the No. 2 spot on Forbes' list of best banks of 2015, you may be interested to know that the bank has sponsored an Economic Update Luncheon with the Maui Chamber of Commerce and Paul Brewbaker.

The… Continue Reading

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Mark A Harbison
R(B) (GRI) (CIPS) (TRC)

Mark@RealEstateMauiHawaii.com

(808) 283-3785

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