Hawaii Joins California in Push for Renewables
The Golden State is putting forth tremendous efforts to meet its goal of 100% electric retail sales derived from renewable and zero-carbon energy resources by 2045. One of the main ways to reach that goal is installing photovoltaic power systems to the rooftops of as many homes and businesses as possible. But California is not the only state turning to solar to meet electrical demand. The Hawaiian island of Oahu initiated a program to help expand thousands of residential rooftops with solar panels.
Burned Out on Fossil Fuels
Hawaiian Electric is preparing to close two fossil-fuel plants in the next few years — a coal-fired electric plant on Oahu in 2022 and an oil-fired power plant on Maui in 2024. The power plant on Oahu is the largest single power generator on the Hawaiian Electric system, creating 180 megawatts for residents and businesses. For over 20 years it has supplied 16% of the peak demand on Oahu. Authorities are seeking more renewable energy resources to fill the role.
Solar Programs to the Rescue!
Recently, utility regulators for the area approved a program with an incentive to help thousands of residents install, expand, or improve photovoltaic systems. The program is designed to provide cash to homeowners who install battery storage systems to new or existing rooftop solar systems as long as they allow Hawaiian Electric to retrieve some of their stored battery power during peak hours. Consumers get an upfront payment from Hawaiian Electric for selling power to them at a rate of 2 hours a day for 10 years. Customers with existing systems can still sell their excess energy to Hawaiian Electric as well as benefit from this upfront incentive.
Although renewable energy advocates applaud the decision, they also note that using residential solar panel systems and battery storage might not be enough to replace the 16% generated by the coal-fired power plant. Representatives with Earthjustice in Honolulu stated that Hawaii will need to cover all rooftop space, and other large projects as well, to reach their goal. That goal is 100% electricity sales generated by renewable resources by 2045, much like California.
The long-term details of this program are still being ironed out. Nevertheless, many organizations in Hawaii like the Public Utilities Commission, Earthjustice, the Hawaii Solar Energy Association, and the Distributed Resources Council of Hawaii express excitement over the plan to encourage rooftop solar.
Making Strides with Solar Power
Both Hawaii and California are taking strides to use renewable energy sources instead of fossil-based energy. Along with Hawaii, California still has a way to go to reach that 2045 goal. The best way we all can help is to look at our own property circumstances. Is a photovoltaic system for your home or business right for you? How can you know?
The great action to take is contact Solaron over the phone or via our website. An expert team analyzes your location, figures out the best configuration with the best panel systems on the market — Maxeon panels through SunPower. We also scour through all available programs and incentives on city, state, and federal levels to get you the most efficient photovoltaic system at the best price possible. Talk to Solaron and get natural energy for life!