Hawaiian Electric Utilities Look To Add Distributed Solar Energy

To encourage more renewable energy use in Hawaii, Hawaiian Electric Company and its neighbor island utilities, Hawaii Electric Light Company and Maui Electric Company, have filed an application with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for a program that could more than double the amount of solar-generated electricity in Hawaii.

If approved by the PUC, the Photovoltaic (PV) Host pilot program could add up to 16 megawatts of new PV systems over a two-year period, more than twice the amount of installed PV at the end of 2008.

Under the proposal, which is aimed at government and commercial facilities, the utilities would lease rooftops or other space for the systems from property owners. Independent PV developers would then be contracted to install PV systems at these sites. The PV developers would own, operate and maintain the systems and sell the energy to the utilities at a fixed rate under a long-term contract.

Utilities across the U.S. are starting to implement this model of distributed PV electricity delivery.  Duke Energy in North Carolina, PG&E and SCE in California and PSEG in New Jersey have made similar announcements.  Take a look at RenewableEnergyWorld.com’s discussion of these new solar initiatives here.

“It just makes sense to take greater advantage of solar energy in Hawaii to help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels,” said Dick Rosenblum, Hawaiian Electric Industries Inc. President & CEO.

Hawaiian Electric committed to develop the PV Host program as part of the energy agreement signed in October 2008 with the state of Hawaii as part of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative.

For more on Hawaii’s renewable energy initiatives, take a look at the video below.

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Renewable Energy World's content team members help deliver the most comprehensive news coverage of the renewable energy industries. Based in the U.S., the UK, and South Africa, the team is comprised of editors from Clarion Energy's myriad of publications that cover the global energy industry.

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