The number of private solar systems on Hawaiian Electric’s grids rose to nearly 97,000 last year, fueled by customer incentives offered by the company, an extension of federal tax credits for solar and rising electricity rates, according to the company.
In Maui County alone, there are 15,390 private solar systems on the HECO grid, the majority (94%) of which are residential, and 6% are commercial. The systems in Maui County have 145 megawatts of generating capacity.
At the end of 2022 there were 96,912 solar systems with 1,058 megawatts of generating capacity and 155 MW of battery storage across the five islands served by Hawaiian Electric.
The number of solar systems, most of which are rooftop, rose by 4,408, or 4.8%, from 2021.
Hawaiian Electric’s Battery Bonus program, which pays a one-time cash incentive and monthly bill credits to those who add energy storage to an existing or new rooftop solar system, became available to customers on Maui last year after launching on Oʻahu in mid-2021.
“This likely helped convince some customers who may have been putting off adding solar until now,” said Kaiulani Shinsato, Hawaiian Electric Customer Energy Resources co-director in a new release. “In addition, higher electric rates and an extension of the federal tax credits helped drive demand for solar.”
Some 22% of Hawaiian Electric’s residential customers have rooftop solar and 35% of customers in single-family homes have solar. Hawaiʻi has among the highest rates of rooftop solar adoption in the nation, according to the company.
With a commitment to cut carbon emissions from power generation 70% from 2005 levels by 2030, Hawaiian Electric’s Climate Change Action Plan includes the addition of 50,000 rooftop solar systems on homes and businesses over the next eight years. Almost all new systems today include energy storage. HECO says this gives customers greater control over their energy use and saving them money while supporting the stability and reliability of island grids.
In addition, momentum continues to build with the company’s shared solar program, also known as community-based renewable energy (CBRE). Shared solar offers a way for customers unable to install private rooftop solar to benefit from solar energy generated on their island.
Original source: https://mauinow.com/2023/02/15/hawaiian-electric-sees-brisk-pace-of-solar-installations-bringing-maui-total-to-15390/