AWEA Issues Fourth Quarter 2019 Market Report

LCG, February 7, 2020--The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) recently released its new U.S. Wind Industry Fourth Quarter 2019 Market Report. AWEA reports new wind turbine installations have added 5,476 MW of electric generating capacity during the fourth quarter, which results in 2019 installations totaling 9,143 MW. The total installations represent an increase over 2018, but the total for 2019 falls short of total annual installations for 2015 and 2016. In addition to new capacity additions, developers completed 2,500 MW of turbine repowerings for the year.

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Duke Energy Florida Announces New Solar Power Projects

LCG, January 29, 2020--Duke Energy Florida (DEF) Monday announced the locations of its two newest solar power plants that will provide a combined installed capacity of nearly 150 MW. DEF is investing an estimated $1 billion to construct or acquire a total of 700 MW of cost-effective solar power facilities from 2018 through 2022 in Florida, and planning for another 1,500 MW of solar generation through 2028.

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Industry News

Hawaiian Electric Begins Implementation of New Solar Option for Homeowners

LCG, August 5, 2016--Hawaiian Electric Company announced Tuesday that a new kind of rooftop solar system that enables households to generate their own electricity and to potentially store energy for when the sun is not shining is now being approved and installed on island homes. The island's first approved "self-supply" rooftop system was recently turned on at a home in Honolulu.

The new, self-supply systems, believed to be the first in the U.S., are now being installed under Hawaiian Electric Companies' Customer Self-Supply Program, an alternative to the popular Customer Grid-Supply Program.

The self-supply systems are designed specifically for the Hawaiian market and use new inverter technology to provide power to the home but prevent any excess electricity from being injected back into the distribution grid. By not allowing injection back into the grid, the utility can avoid pushing physical limits of the distribution system and causing related problems. This concern is more significant in Hawaii, where rooftop solar PV has been rapidly installed. Given Hawaii's Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) goal for each utility to achieve 100 percent renewable energy by 2045, solar power generation is likely to continue to increase in Hawaii.

Hawaiian Electric's Senior Vice President of Customer Service stated, "It's been five years since rooftop solar really took off in Hawaii and more than 77,000 customers have made the choice to use it. The shift to self-supply is an important evolutionary step to ensure that the rooftop solar option remains sustainable, cost-effective and available to some of the 85 percent of customers who don't have it."

There is a growing number of self-supply systems available from a number of vendors that now meet the specifications set by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC). Hawaiian Electric has been working with these companies to develop standard technical specifications that will qualify systems for an expedited approval and potentially faster installation.

The PUC created the Customer Self-Supply Program as an alternative to the grid-supply program, especially once the grid-supply capacity limits established by the commission were met.

The Customer Grid-Supply program, which credits customers for the excess electricity they send to the grid, remains available on Oahu, though space is going fast. Maui Electric recently reached the capacity limit set by the PUC and Hawaii Island is nearing the limit, but self-supply is available.
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