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Residential rooftop solar increasing in Hawaii despite COVID-19

Rooftop Solar

Rooftop solar applications and interconnections are increasing across Hawaiian Electric’s five-island service territory, despite COVID-19, according to a press release from Hawaiian Electric.

New applications totaled 126 for the week ending June 13, just short of the 136 for the week ending Jan. 18, 2020, which is the highest this year to date. So far this year, 2,241 applications have been received, compared to 1,756 at the same point last year.

For O‘ahu, including all rooftop solar programs:

  • In April 2020 there were 367 new interconnections and in May 2020 there were 470, for a two-month total of 837.
  • In April 2019 there were 133 new interconnections and in May 2019 there were 180, for a two-month total of 313.

Across the five-island service territory:

  • In April 2020 there were 452 new interconnections and in May 2020 there were 588, for a two-month total of 1,040.
  • In April 2019 there were 220 new interconnections and in May 2019 there were 325, for a two-month total of 545.

Lani Shinsato, customer energy resources co-director for Hawaiian Electric, said, “Like the solar industry, we are concerned this fluid situation may change due to the impact of COVID-19 so we are carefully monitoring new applications and working with the solar industry on improvements to smooth and speed the interconnection process.”

“We know that some of these totals represent contracts signed before the response to the COVID-19 pandemic took hold and we may see declines in the future,” Shinsato continued.

“Still, we commend the solar industry for their ongoing work to serve customers during this difficult period and we are glad renewable progress continues across many fronts, including private, customer-sited renewables, often with energy storage.”