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Lawmakers slam HECO for slowing solar installations

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Legislators scolded Hawaiian Electric Co. officials at a Capitol briefing Friday for slowing the connection of rooftop solar systems.

The 4,500 people waiting for solar approval were a primary concern at the informational briefing.

The legislative briefing focused on HECO’s September 2013 policy changes on connecting solar to the grid and the utility’s distributed power plans.

Since September 2013, HECO has required its customers and contractors to be approved by the utility before connecting photovoltaic systems.

Lawmakers who spoke at the briefing included Sen. Sam Slom, Rep. Chris Lee, Rep. Cynthia Thielen, Sen. Donna Mercado Kim and Sen. Rosalyn Baker.

Jim Alberts, senior vice president of customer service, and Colton Ching, vice president for energy delivery, represented the utility at the Capitol.

Mark Duda, president of the Hawaii PV Coalition, Leslie Cole-Brooks, executive director at the Hawaii Solar Energy Association, and Kevin Fox, from the Alliance for Solar Choice, represented alternative energy companies at the briefing.

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CORRECTION: A previous version of this story had Mark Duda’s title as president of the Hawaii Solar Energy Association.

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