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HECO shows solar and wind power use in real time

By Star-Advertiser Staff

LAST UPDATED: 01:20 p.m. HST, Mar 20, 2014

Hawaiian Electric Co. has put online graphs that show how much solar and wind power is being generated on Oahu, Maui and Hawaii island throughout the day and how much the renewable sources contribute to total power consumption.

The utility wants consumers to understand the variable nature of solar and wind power and the important role of the so-called "firm" power generated at HECO plants.

"To maintain reliable electric service for all customers, utility engineers must adjust the output of firm sources of generation up or down as the output from variable sources like solar and wind rises and falls throughout the day," HECO said in a news release.

The online graphs show the measured output from large wind and solar facilities combined with the estimated output from residential rooftop solar systems. Non-variable renewable energy generation -- such as geothermal on Hawaii Island, bagasse-fired generation on Maui and HPOWER on Oahu -- are not shown.

Here are the links to the graphs for each island:







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Solar, wind power output shown online

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Steve96785 wrote:
The graphs have three different scales. With thirty years teaching science in the DOE and a few at UHH, I can comfortably state that most adults are likely to mis-interpret the graphs due to this fundamental flaw. The line for net system load should reflect the contributions by all sources, but it does not, even during periods of peak wind power production.
on March 20,2014 | 01:43PM
harley1 wrote:
??? I can read them just fine. It is intuitively obvious to the most casual observer that net system load is the power being served by generation that is monitored in real time such as fossil fuel plants, wind farms and large grid connected commercial solar installations. Those roof top PV systems, including those atop business are load offsetting and are not capable of being monitored yet. Once smart meters are widely deployed and in use, then there will be better data to indicate their contribution to the net generation. For now, this is a good first attempt. But since everyone is so afraid of smart meters for inane reasons, it'll be a struggle to get a meaningful deployment of them.
on March 20,2014 | 08:10PM
I've had a contract with my solar PV people since September to install and still awaiting word from HECO when they are going to be finished revising the grid to enable additional PV installations. HECO needs to get on the ball or I guarantee there is going to be some sort of class action lawsuit coming soon against HECO.
on March 20,2014 | 03:59PM
awahana wrote:
Yes, this is status quo today, in HECOville.

I know about a dozen, if not dozens, from various solar compaines that are in the same 'bucket' at the HECO NEM dept. as yourself.

2012 truly was the best time to go solar. Now prices are trending higher for the first time in 6 years, the free C&C building permit fee is gone, averaging $700 per home, and you have to wait, and wait, and wait, with no idea of if and when.

I laughed when solar salespeople said last year you may end up waiting 1-2 years for approval, once you sign up for solar. I'm not laughing anymore.
on March 21,2014 | 03:44AM
Anonymous wrote:
Why is HECO wasting their time on PR stuff like this when there are so many people and companies waiting for their PV systems to be approved?????????????? OK, you made a cool website. Now get back to work.
on March 20,2014 | 07:08PM
awahana wrote:
You're missing the point, it seems.
on March 21,2014 | 03:38AM
localguy wrote:
"firm" power generated at HECO plants? Pure shibai. Lets not forget the day the grounds shook just a little bit and HECO came crashing down, killed the entire island, cost businesses millions of dollars in lost business. The same earthquake in California and power keeps flowing. HECO is so out of date it is laughable.
on March 20,2014 | 09:49PM
awahana wrote:
I suggested this idea at a focus group. I'm glad to see that the power that be, thought it was worthwhile.
on March 21,2014 | 03:45AM
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