comscore KIUC wants state’s OK for new solar programs | Honolulu Star-Advertiser

KIUC wants state’s OK for new solar programs

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Kauai Island Utility Cooperative said Monday it asked the state Public Utilities Commission to approve new ways to credit solar system owners on the island.

KIUC replaced its legacy solar incentive programs — one that compensated members for all of the excess solar energy their systems sent to the grid, and the other program did not compensate solar owners — with two new options. Current solar owners in the legacy programs will be grandfathered in as long as they continue to use their existing systems.

The new programs are called customer self-supply and smart export.

The customer self-supply program allows solar owners to install solar PV or PV connected to a battery system. Under the program, solar owners are not allowed to send excess energy into the grid.

The smart-export program allows solar owners to be compensated by KIUC for sending excess energy into the grid at times of the day when the utility needs energy — members will not be compensated for energy sent into the grid during sunlight hours.

“Daytime export is no longer feasible when there isn’t adequate load to support it,” said David Bissell, president and CEO of the cooperative. “This proposal could pave the way for more export in a way that benefits all KIUC members and the grid as a whole.”

Currently, roughly 3,700 KIUC members have solar systems. KIUC said the combined capacity of these systems equals 20 megawatts of total power provided to the grid.

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