Solar production in Hawaii is skyrocketing. As a result, Hawaii has excesses rooftop solar energy and grid management problems. Also, the state responded by requiring a utility-operated shut-off for home solar energy exports to the grid since 2015.
Now, a new power purchase agreement is proposed to stop Hawaiian Electric from curbing the revenue of prospective developers and solar plant owners – a loss that in 2015 exceeded double digits levels.
Solar power in Hawaii is dropping prices
According to GTM Research, six projects have been proposed at record-low prices for the state, under 10 cents per kilowatt-hour. The projects would add 262 megawatts of solar and 1,048 MW-hours of storage distributed over three islands.
Will Giese, executive director at Hawaii’s Solar Energy Association, called the pricing “mind-blowing,” GTM reports. Among the bidding companies are AES, Innergex, Clearway, and 174 Power Global.
In fact, the US Solar Energy Industries Association notes that Hawaii is the ideal solar market. Because the current high electricity prices and dependence on imported energy.
Rapid solar growth has outpaced the grid capacity to handle the energy generated. Moreover, modernization of the grid has become the main issue.
In 2017, the Hawaiian Electric Companies – including Hawaii Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light – submitted a plan, “Modernizing Hawaii’s Grid for Our Customers,” for a comprehensive grid modernization strategy. Also, the plan calls for the installation of smart meters on homes and businesses that will provide a better estimation of solar production, grid capacity and support needs.
With the first phase of the plan, solar energy in Hawaii will restore its rapid growth at mind blowing prices.
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