Self-Supply program offers rooftop solar option for Maui Electric customers

Release Date: 6/22/2016

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KAHULUI, June 22, 2016 – The capacity limit for rooftop solar systems that send excess power to Maui Electric’s grid has been reached, but customers who want solar still have options.

While the Customer Grid-Supply program is now at the capacity limit set by the state Public Utilities Commission (PUC), customers can buy rooftop systems that don’t export to the grid but that will still offset a substantial part of their electric bills.

Under the grid-supply program, an increasing number of customers were installing oversized rooftop systems. These systems, sometimes consisting of dozens of panels, can export significantly more electricity to the grid than the household actually uses. As these large systems were installed, there was less room on the grid for additional systems.

As of this week, approved systems and applications reached the 5 megawatt capacity limit that regulators set for Maui Electric’s service territory, which includes the islands of Maui, Lanai, and Molokai.

“Adding more rooftop solar power is an important part our effort to reach 100 percent renewable energy. We will continue to work with the PUC to develop more options for customers that support our state’s renewable energy goals,” said Sharon Suzuki, Maui Electric president.

Customers may still consider the Self-Supply program, which enables them to install PV systems that provide power to the home but do not export electricity to the grid. These systems can include energy storage devices, such as batteries.

Solar providers are developing a variety of Self-Supply systems that meet the technical specifications set by the PUC. This will ensure safe, reliable interconnection and provide opportunities for more customers to enjoy the benefits of solar energy.

For more information, go to https://www.mauielectric.com/distributedenergyresources.

Customers on Oahu and Hawaii Island may continue to apply for the Grid-Supply program. Customers should choose a system that’s the right size for their household, meaning the system matches their actual energy use. Buying a system that is larger than necessary will cost more upfront and will not necessarily save more money than a right-sized system. In addition, customers who install right-sized systems help leave room on the grid for more customers to have rooftop solar.