Utility Interconnection Programs
Hawaiian Electric Companies (Hawaiian Electric – Oahu, Maui Electric – Maui and Hawaiian Electric and Light – Big Island) offer programs that allow your business or home solar photovoltaic (PV) system to be connected to the grid. The advantage of a grid connection is it allows you to use the utility as a backup at night or on rainy days when your PV system may not producing enough energy for your needs, and receive credit for power sent to the grid.
The utility, with the approval of the Public Utilities Commission, offers two basic interconnection programs under the Distributive Energy Resource programs or DER – CGS and CSS. The utility previously used a net metering program, which was discontinued in October 2015.
CUSTOMER GRID SUPPLY (CGS)
The CGS program can be seen as a modified version of the net metering program. Under the CGS program:
- Customers receive a PUC-approved credit (see table) for electricity exported to the grid and are billed at the retail rate for electricity they use from the grid.
- Similar to the net metering program, if the customer uses more electricity than is exported, the customer pays for the net amount.
- If the customers’ credits exceed their electricity charge, the customer pays a minimum bill of $25.
- As with the net metering program, any excess credits remaining at the end of the monthly billing cycle are forfeited.
- Oahu – 15.07 ¢/kWh
- Hawaii – 15.14 ¢/kWh
- Maui – 17.16 ¢/kWh
- Molokai – 24.07 ¢/kWh
- Lanai – 27.88 ¢/kWh
The systems are limited to 100kW per meter.
CUSTOMER SELF SUPPLY (CSS)
The CSS program is intended only for solar PV installations that are designed to not export any electricity to the grid. CSS systems are also eligible for expedited review and approval of applications in areas that have a high level of PV. Under the CSS program:
- Customers pay for the amount of electricity used from the grid.
- A customer will pay a minimum monthly bill of $25.
STANDARD INTERCONNECTION AGREEMENT (SIA)
SIA is for renewable and non-renewable systems. This agreement allows you to reduce the amount of energy you require from the utility by energy produced from your system. Any surplus exported to the grid will not be “stored” or credited on your bill.
NOTE: In October 2015 the utility discontinued its net energy metering program which allowed excess power to be exported to the grid during the solar day. The power was banked by the utility and returned at no cost to the consumer at night or on rainy days.