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Upgrade costs ignite debate

The state's two utilities are charging customers for grid improvements that some organizations argue should not be billed to homeowners

By Alan Yonan Jr.

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Nov 10, 2013

~~<p>Hawaii's two electric companies &mdash; Hawaiian Electric Co. and Kauai Island Utility Cooperative &mdash;&ensp;are investing in technology they say will eventually allow them to accommodate greater amounts of rooftop-generated solar power on their power grids.</p>
<p>But for now some homeowners who want to install photovoltaic systems in neighborhoods already saturated with PV panels have to pay out of their own pocket for new transformers and other equipment upgrades the utilities say are necessary to mitigate safety and reliability risks posed by high amounts of intermittent solar energy.</p>
~~

Hawaii's two electric companies — Hawaiian Electric Co. and Kauai Island Utility Cooperative — are investing in technology they say will eventually allow them to accommodate greater amounts of rooftop-generated solar power on their power grids.

But for now some homeowners who want to install photovoltaic systems in neighborhoods already saturated with PV panels have to pay out of their own pocket for new transformers and other equipment upgrades the utilities say are necessary to mitigate safety and reliability risks posed by high amounts of intermittent solar energy. Login for more...



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