Solar power figures heavily in the state of Hawaii's quest to have 100 percent renewable generation by the year 2045.
In October, the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (HPUC) approved two new programs, which will encourage more customers to go solar.
One program allows customers who install solar and storage to receive credit for generating power that goes back to the grid. Under the "Smart Export" program, customers who generate and store power during the day will have the option to export excess power back to the grid in the evening. Those who do will receive a monetary credit on their electricity bill, which will vary depending on which island customers live on.
Oahu residents receive 14.97 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). Residents of the island of Hawaii receive 11 cents per kWh. Maui residents receive 14.41 cents per kWh. Molokai residents receive 16.64 cents per kWh, and Lanai residents receive 20.79 cents per kWh. According to HPUC, the program may accommodate approximately 3,500 to 4,500 customers on the five islands.
A second program approved by the HPUC rewards customers who contribute excess solar power to the grid during the day. The Customer Grid Supply (CGS+) is an extension of the current and popular CGS program. Under this new program, customers can install a solar PV system without storage, which utilizes advanced equipment allowing the utility to manage power from the system to help it maintain grid stability.
Under the terms of CGS+, credit rates for electricity sent to the grid are 10.08 cents per kWh on Oahu, 10.55 cents per kWh on Hawaii, 12.17 cents per kWh on Maui, 16.77 cents per kWh on Molokai and 20.80 cents per kWh on Lanai. HPUC says the CGS+ program may accommodate about 5,00 to 6,000 customers on the five islands.