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Hawaiian Electric expands Battery Bonus program to Maui customers

PC: Hawaiian Electric

Maui residents and businesses can now sign up for Hawaiian Electric’s Battery Bonus program, which pays a cash incentive to customers with rooftop solar who add energy storage capacity, providing support to the grid as fossil fuel power plants are retired.

The Public Utilities Commission approved the expansion of Battery Bonus to Maui following the program’s launch on O‘ahu in 2021. Battery Bonus pays a one-time cash incentive and monthly bill credits to residential and commercial customers who add energy storage to an existing or new rooftop solar system.

The structure of Battery Bonus on Maui closely follows the O‘ahu program with a few minor differences. The Maui program is capped at 15 megawatts (MW), although the PUC left open the possibility to increase the cap if additional capacity is needed.

Incentive payments for Maui customers are:

  • $850 for each kilowatt (kW) of battery capacity committed. (For example, a 5 kW commitment would yield a $4,250 payment).
  • A monthly export credit for Battery Bonus participants who are not part of the company’s Net Energy Metering program. The fixed monthly bill credit is based on the respective retail rate for exporting energy during a two-hour period of the evening peak. The credit is available for three years.
  • A $5-per-kW monthly peak capacity payment for the 10-year duration of Battery Bonus.
  • Removal of the 5-kW-per-customer size limit for PV systems, as long as the additional solar is not more than twice the battery size.

“In approving Battery Bonus for Maui, the PUC acknowledged Hawaiian Electric’s position that adding distributed battery storage on the island will help the company improve near-term energy reserve margins in advance of the future retirement of the Kahului Power Plant,” according to a company press release. “Additional battery storage also will help ensure continued reliability of electricity supply on Maui if four generating units at the Mā‘alaea Generating Station are retired early due to a limited supply of parts.”

The Battery Bonus term is 10 years. Customers who participate must use and/or export electricity stored in the battery at the contracted amount on a two-hour schedule specified by Hawaiian Electric between 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. daily (including weekends and holidays) through Dec. 31, 2024. After that date, customers will have the option to transition to the program’s next phase to be defined by the PUC for the rest of the 10-year term.

Homeowners and businesses with an existing solar system enrolled in a customer energy program such as Net Energy Metering, Customer Grid Supply or others will continue to receive full benefits from these programs. There is no limit on the size of an individual customer’s battery.

Battery Bonus applications will be accepted from Maui customers through June 30, 2024, or until the cap is reached.

More information and updates: hawaiianelectric.com/batterybonus.

Original source: https://mauinow.com/2022/06/04/hawaiian-electric-expands-battery-bonus-program-to-maui-customers/

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