City and County of Honolulu Photovoltaic Permits on Fire!

Year To Date (YTD) Residential and Commercial Photovoltaic (PV) permits increased 55.2% over the same period in 2012.

HawaiiCumPV2012 I was considering Blog post topics worthy of the March Equinox when I stumbled upon “Honolulu Weekly Solar Photovoltaic Permits Issued (Week of March 11 – March 17, 2013)” in the Hawaii Reporter. The article is a reprint of the original “Honolulu Weekly Photovoltaic Permits” report compiled by Hawaii’s Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT).

Honolulu’s YTD total number of residential PV permits reached 2468, a 53.8% increase over the same period last year, and the YTD total value was $74.763 million representing a 43.1% increase.

Likewise, Honolulu’s YTD total number of commercial PV permits reached 70, a 133.3% increase over the same period last year, and the YTD total value was $23.453 million representing a 41.1% increase.

However, the corresponding MegaWatts (MW) or kiloWatts (kW) of residential or commercial PV was not disclosed.

The City and County of Honolulu is served by the utility, Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc. (HECO), a subsidiary of Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. (NYSE:HE). In turn, HECO and its subsidiaries, “Maui Electric Company, Ltd. (MECO) and Hawaii Electric Light Company, Inc. (HELCO), serve 95% of the Hawaii’s 1.2 million residents on the islands of O`ahu, Maui, Hawai`i Island, Lana`i and Moloka`i.

Doesn’t it just figure that Vote Solar named HECO the 2013 Utility Solar Champion at the annual Equinox Celebration and fundraiser last week. Per Vote Solar, HECO engaged in a multi-party collaboration including solar advocates and “adopted a pioneering framework” redefining the interconnection limit “from 15% of peak load to 75% of minimum load — depending on the circuit, a near doubling of the amount of DG [Ed Note: Distributed Generation] that can be interconnected without a costly and time-consuming study.

With the highest consumption of oil for electricity generation and the highest electricity prices in the United States according to the US Energy Information Agency, Hawaii has adopted a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) requiring 40% of net electricity sales to be generated from renewable sources by December 31, 2030. In Hawaii, solar adopters can claim with truthfulness to have avoided oil consumption. As a result, cumulative PV capacity in Hawaii reached 172 MegaWatts in 2012, increasing 93 MW or 85% from 2011 across HECO service territories.

The GTM Research, a division of Greentech Media, and SEIA (Solar Energy Industries Association) Q4 2012 U.S. Solar Market Insight Report states Hawaii installed 109 MW of PV in 2012 and projects Hawaii will be the second largest residential PV market in 2013 and will maintain their fifth non-residential PV market position per the below infographic (Source: GTM Research and SEIA).


Meanwhile, the GOES-13 weather satellite captured the equal split between Earth’s night and day on the Equinox from space. I know “Ahi” means fire, but what’s the phrase or idiom for “On Fire” in Hawaiian?

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