11,493 rooftop solar systems in Hawaii still waiting to be installed, says report

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
According to HSEA's latest report, 11,493 utility-approved rooftop PV systems remain uninstalled, with the number of solar projects built down 27.5% since May 2015. Source: Flickr - Jon Callas

There are 11,493 utility-approved rooftop solar systems in Hawaii that remain uninstalled, according to a new report by the Hawaii Solar Energy Association (HSEA).

The report details the bleak outlook for the Hawaii solar industry – which has been cloudy for the third consecutive month.

The overly-subscribed Customer Grid Supply (CGS) programme together with Customer Self Supply (CSS) programme has replaced net-metering on the Island. The CGS has proved so popular that the it could come to a premature end in August in Oahu and much sooner in Maui if the interim 35MW cap is not raised. Despite industry representatives, including SunPower and The Alliance for Solar Choice, requesting a cap increase, the Hawaiian Electric Co (HECO) and the Consumer Advocacy urged the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to oppose the measure.

HECO asserted that the less popular CSS programme should be sufficient to serve as the primary alternative to net-metering until further notice. However, according to HSEA’s report, since the inception of the CSS almost a year ago, only four customers have been approved for installations under the programme. “It is too soon to know whether the Self Supply programme will ever be a viable alternative to Grid Supply, but the facts are clear it is not ready to serve that role now,” the report states.

The report also reveals a year-over-year fall in closed permits; permits which represents solar projects that have been completed in their entirety. The considerable decline in closed permits shows that the number of solar projects built in Hawaii have decreased and are down 27.5% since May 2015. Furthermore, pulled permits, which represent anticipated projects for the near future, were down 33.6% from May 2015.

Data from the report also suggests that consistent growth is in store for the CGS programme. However, unless the cap is raised, customers will have to rely on the CSS programme – that has so far proved inadequate.

“The clouds in our monthly industry forecast keep getting darker, and the damage being done to Hawaii’s local solar industry may be irreversible unless stabilising policy changes are implemented soon,” said Hajime Alabanza, executive assistant to HSEA. “We must not forget the overwhelmingly positive value provided by a local solar industry for our economy, our state energy goals and consumer access to clean power alternatives to dangerous fossil fuels.”

Read Next

January 16, 2022
The US Government has appealed against the reinstatement of an exemption from Section 201 tariffs for bifacial modules.
January 14, 2022
The US Department of Energy (DOE) has launched a “Building a Better Grid” initiative to catalyse the development of “new and upgraded high-capacity electric transmission lines” across the US under President Joe Biden’s US$1 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.
January 13, 2022
Lightsource bp has closed on a US$533 million financing package for the development of 480MW of solar PV across the US as the company continues to expand its operations in the country.
January 13, 2022
Proposed net metering (NEM) rules in California that would add a US$8/kW per month grid access fee for residential solar systems have been described as “regressive and out of touch with reality” by a NEM policy expert.
January 12, 2022
Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP) alongside co-investors has closed on a US$500 million investment in independent power producer (IPP) BrightNight LLC to fund the company’s development efforts as well as the construction and operations of its projects.
January 12, 2022
Despite a current shortage of electrolyser manufacturing capacity, the global green hydrogen sector is poised to benefit from a rapid ramp-up in electrolyser output over the coming years, according to Fitch Solutions.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Webinars
January 26, 2022
Free Webinar
Solar Media Events
February 23, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 8, 2022
London, UK
Solar Media Events
March 23, 2022
Austin, Texas, USA
Solar Media Events
March 29, 2022
Lisbon, Portugal