Wednesday, July 23, 2014         

 Print   Email   Comment | View 10 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

HECO helps PV customers caught in interconnection limbo

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 04:06 p.m. HST, Nov 27, 2013

Hawaiian Electric Co. today announced steps to help hundreds of customers on Oahu who were caught in limbo as a result of changes the utility made in September to its interconnection procedures for solar photovoltaic systems.

As many as 700 HECO customers were in the process of installing PV systems when the utility announced the changes Sept. 6 to address potential safety and reliability concerns due to growing levels of solar energy penetration in some areas on Oahu. The customers, who had not yet submitted the required paperwork under HECO's net energy metering program, faced delays and possible additional costs as a result of the new procedures.

HECO's "grandfather" arrangement announced today allows those customers to operate under the procedures in place before Sept. 6.

"We want to be fair and assist customers in high PV areas who made financial or contractual commitments to install a PV system prior to the procedure change," said Jim Alberts, HECO senior vice president of customer service. "We're committed to helping our customers move forward with their installations," he said.

HECO, the Hawaii Solar Energy Association and Hawaii PV Coalition, worked together to define the criteria that will allow customers who committed to PV systems prior to the September changes, according to Alberts. The agreement will allow the customers to interconnect their systems at no additional costs for equipment upgrades and, in most case, without having to wait for a detailed interconnection study, according to HECO.

To qualify for the pre-Sept. 6 treatment the PV systems must meet three criteria:

>> The system must be 10 kilowatts or less in size.

>> Customers must provide to HECO a fully executed and binding contract with a solar company signed on or before Sept. 9 for the purchase or lease of a net energy metered PV system. Customers also have the option of submitting evidence that they made a legally binding financial commitment to a PV system, such as a loan document. (A utility-provided form is available on the HECO website at hawaiianelectric.com/goingsolar.) The documents must be postmarked by Dec. 31, 2013.

>> HECO must have received the customer's signed net energy metering contract by Oct. 31, 2013.

In addition the PV systems must pass the standard safety review.

 Print   Email   Comment | View 10 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
hon2255 wrote:
Well about time Heco does something positive!!
on November 27,2013 | 02:42PM
fstop wrote:
Oct 22: "This week, I had the opportunity to interview Peter Rosegg, a spokesman for HECO. He said that at the informational hearing, all parties agreed that safety cannot be compromised. Responsible solar installers also acknowledged the utility's statement that too much solar on a circuit without proper protective equipment risks the safety of customers and utility crews and damage to customer electronics and utility equipment such as lines, transformers and substations."

Nov. 28: "We want to be fair and assist customers in high PV areas who made financial or contractual commitments to install a PV system prior to the procedure change," said Jim Alberts, HECO senior vice president of customer service. "We're committed to helping our customers move forward with their installations," he said."

Why is the safety of customers not being compromised now?

on November 28,2013 | 02:03AM
geo333 wrote:
Well I guess I'm screwed since my contract calls for 14kw. I guess I'll have to pay another 10K for battery backup so I can get completely off their freaken grid!
on November 27,2013 | 03:24PM
goodday wrote:
wow you use a lot of electricity. Must have a monster roof to fit that many panels on it
on November 27,2013 | 04:03PM
geo333 wrote:
Gets pretty hot on the westside and yes 5 bedrooms using up a lot of AC, before I got rid of central air I was spending $1200 a month on electricty alone. With split AC at least I can control what room/s get cooled but none-the-less, you can see why I would rather assume the cost of battery backup and get off the grid all together.
on November 27,2013 | 04:17PM
localguy wrote:
You must live in one of those new "substandard homes" with no insulation in the walls and ceiling, single pane windows, painted a dark color with equally dark roof. Need to make some economical changes to lower your energy use. Sad to say back in the 80s, 90s, 2000 and on, developers willfully failed to build energy efficient homes. Only concerned how fast they could get them up for sale. Of course our acutely dysfunctional elected bureaucrats received kickbacks for not pushing higher standard building codes.
on November 27,2013 | 04:26PM
kainalu wrote:
Yep. I'm one of the lucky ones. I have my contract that was signed on the 7th of September and I'm under 10kw, so ... . Whew. Finally, something goes right.
on November 27,2013 | 06:06PM
localguy wrote:
If you have a natural gas line you should consider buying a "Bloom Box" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AblThlNKuwA Then you can disconnect from HECO forever.
on November 27,2013 | 04:28PM
safari wrote:
BS. Deregulate Power Generation and Distribution of services.
on November 27,2013 | 07:40PM
RandolphW wrote:
The Public Utilities Commission wishes everyone on the grid a very Happy Thanksgiving!
on November 28,2013 | 04:12AM
Breaking News