Hawaii Solar Power Community Celebrates Favorable Ruling

by Antonio Pasolini on December 27, 2011

Photo: Dasolar

The Hawaii Solar Energy Association has issued a note welcoming the decision by state regulators to reject a proposal by Hawaiian Electric Co. to require solar companies to install expensive remote monitoring systems for small solar photovoltaic systems.

“The Public Utilities Commission’s ruling helps clear the path for households and businesses that want to invest in Hawai‘i’s clean energy future,” said Jeff Mikulina, Executive Director of the Blue Planet Foundation, a Hawaii nonprofit committed to ending the use of fossil fuels. “By rejecting unnecessary new costs and hassles for clean power, this decision moves Hawaii a step closer to energy independence.”

There’s concern among solar energy companies that utilities could curtail the amount of solar power generated from panels and raise costs for customers.

Inside ClimateNews has an in-depth article about the issue, which also affects California. The point of contention is a rule whereby distributed energy (such as rooftop PV solar power) needs to undergo a bureaucratic review once it reaches 15 per cent of peak demand on a local circuit. Solar advocates in California and Hawaii, which pushed for the threshold a decade ago, now feel it is too low and the costs involved too high.

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