Maui Business

Hawaiʻi Utilities at Top of List for Adding Solar Power

April 30, 2015, 12:25 PM HST
* Updated April 30, 12:27 PM
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hawaiian electric companiesThe the Solar Electric Power Association has once again ranked Hawaiian Electric Companies among the top utilities in the nation for solar power.

Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawai‘i Electric Light
Watts of New Solar Per Customer Rankings in 2014

  • Hawaiian Electric: No. 8 with 192 watts/customer
  • Maui Electric: No. 9 with 191 watts/customer
  • Kaua‘i Island Utility Cooperative: No. 4 with 503 watts/customer.
  • Hawai‘i Electric Light Company, with 174 watts/customer, just missed the top 10 list

The four Hawai‘i utilities also led the nation in the top four positions in annual and cumulative net-metered projects per customer–a reflection of the state’s strong growth of rooftop solar.

Hawai‘i ranked seventh in the nation overall for solar power compared with larger states on the Mainland.

For cumulative solar watts per customer, Hawaiian Electric ranked eighth, with 893 watts/customer, and KIUC ranked sixth with 1,147 watts/customer.

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Hawaiian Electric Company ranked fifth in interconnections in 2014 and fourth in cumulative interconnections, just behind much larger utilities in California and Arizona.

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“With 12 percent of our customers using rooftop solar, new utility-scale solar arrays that are scheduled to come online by the end of 2016, and our goal to triple distributed solar by 2030, Hawai‘i will continue to lead the way in the integration of rooftop solar,” said Jim Alberts, Hawaiian Electric senior vice president for customer service.

“Equally important, Hawai‘i is a national leader in using experimentation and experience to increase the ability of utility grids to integrate this welcome growth,” Alberts continued. “Working with the national energy partners, solar equipment manufacturers and the local solar industry, we’re finding solutions to enable the grid to accept more solar while maintaining reliable and safe service for all.”

“Our Top 10 survey results confirm the unstoppable momentum now propelling solar market expansion in the United States and the active role many utilities are playing in it,” said Julia Hamm, SEPA’s president and CEO. “Consumers across the country want solar, and their utilities are responding, with streamlined interconnection procedures as well as new and innovative projects and business models. And we’re seeing this growth not only in well-established markets, such as in California or Hawai‘i, but in unexpected pockets of solar activity, including Tennessee, Utah and Montana.”

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SEPA is an educational nonprofit organization working to help utilities make solar energy a safe, reliable and reasonably priced part of their energy portfolios, while benefiting themselves, their customers and the general public.

As co-sponsor of both PV America and Solar Power International, SEPA provides research reports and educational opportunities, including webinars, fact-finding missions and professional networking events.

The full Top 10 listings are available online.

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