Hawaii Residents Get New Energy Storage Option for Rooftop Solar

German energy storage manufacturer sonnen said on Feb. 4 that its sonnenBatterie now is available to residents in Hawaii.

The company said HECO, which provides power to about 95 percent of residents on the islands of Oahu, Maui, Hawaii Islands, Lanai and Molokai, approved sonnen’s energy storage system for distribution.

“Adding energy storage to solar PV installations in Hawaii is now financially beneficial for residential customers with a payback of as little as 6.5 years,” Boris von Bormann, CEO of sonnen U.S., said in a statement. “Our smart energy management software allows homeowners to maximize their solar production during the day, storing excess solar for use at night or when utility rates increase. The sonnenBatterie is a key to energy autonomy enabling customers to produce and store 100 percent of the energy they need for daily life or for backup power in the event of a grid outage.”

sonnen said that combining HECO’s new residential distributed energy tariffs with the sonnenBatterie energy storage can ensure the continued growth of rooftop solar installations and the sustainability of distributed generation on the utility grid in Hawaii. 

The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) last October issued a ruling ending the existing net energy metering program for new residential solar customers in the state. In place of the original program, the PUC approved two HECO tariffs — a grid-supply option and a self-supply option.

The grid-supply option gives rooftop PV customers on Oahu and Hawaii island credits on their electric bills for excess electricity sent to the grid at a fixed rate of approximately 15 cents per kWh. Customers on Maui would be credited at approximately 17 cents per kWh, Molokai at approximately 24 cents per kWh, and Lanai at approximately 28 cents per kWh. The self-supply option is available for customers with rooftop PV systems and energy storage.

“The sonnenBatterie energy storage products meet all the new tariff obligations in Hawaii, including zero export,” von Bormann said. “Our intelligent storage systems come ready to install out of the box and easily integrate with new and existing solar systems making them ideal for homes across the islands.”

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