Final 2015 Regulatory Update

Posted on Friday, November 20, 2015

HSEA Update

November 19, 2015

Aloha everybody,

Please find below one last HSEA update from me to tuck you in for the end of the year.  As always, there’s lots going on.  I’ve included all the highlights below, with references to keep you informed as everything moves forward.

I.  HSEA Membership Meeting and Board Election

Look for news of our HSEA biannual membership meeting in the New Year.  The HSEA Board of Directors is also up for reelection.  If you’d like to get involved in shaping policy and supporting HSEA with your time and expertise, please consider running for board director.  The elections will be held at this next membership meeting.

II.  Interconnection Issues and Updating of the Approved Inverter List

As you know, we’re currently in a great transition with the new ride through settings and TrOv-2 requirements, in addition to advanced inverter setting requirements which begin January 1, 2016.  We are currently following up on the approved inverter list, and the status of inverters that were given conditional approval pending the submission of self-certification.  There appears to have been a delay with the certification process for SMA inverters.  Rolf Christ has been meeting with the utility to sort out the certification process for these inverters.  Here’s a message from Rolf:

Hi all,
as you might have noticed, Heco took SMA inverters off the approved inverter list.  That was due to a deadline for firmware development to meet TrOV-2 and full ride-through requirements.
Completion dates by SMA will be mid-December for Tripower and March for TL-22 inverters.  HSEA and other parties affected met with Heco last night and the following solutions were offered:
All grandfathered NEM applications (before 10-13) that listed the affected inverters are allowed to proceed with SMA installation once approval letters are sent by Heco (business as usual).
Inverters have to be programmed within one year of approval letter date.  Systems will be allowed to operate during that one year time period.  Any inverters not updated after one year are not allowed to operate any longer.
We are still working on procedures for Grid supply systems that you are selling today with TL-22 inverters.  Worst case you would have to wait until March before you can install.  Best case Heco will allow installations based on SMA's statement, that firmware will be ready in March.
Feel free to email me with other issues or questions regarding this issue.




III.  Regulatory Update

HSEA is currently an intervenor on six PUC dockets, three of which are very active.  Here’s the list and a short description of where they stand.

1.  Merger:  (2015-0022) This docket will continue through next year as the Commission decides on the fate of the Proposed Change of Control from HEI to NextEra. 

What’s Next: The next step is the evidentiary hearings, to be held from November 30 through December 3, 2015; December 7 through December 11, 2015; and December 14 through December 16, 2015. 

Where:  The evidentiary hearings will be held at:

Neal S. Blaisdell Center

Blaisdell Cener Hawaii Suites

777 Ward Ave.

Honolulu, HI  96814


9:30 to 4:30 with an hour lunch break from 12-1 pm.


A list of schedules should be available shortly.  The hearings are open to the public.

2.  DER Docket Phase II:  (2014-0192) The DER Docket has now moved into phase two, where the parties will consider time of use rates, technical issues, HECO and KIUC reporting requirements, HECO interconnection queue and Rule 14H revisions, hosting capacity analysis, and enhanced DER valuation.  We’ve already had a first meeting on the preliminary issues and the TOU rates that were issued by the utility November 12, 2015.

Next steps are the system level and circuit level hosting analysis (due from the utility on December 12, 2015), advanced inverter function test plan (due from the utility on December 12, 2015) and advanced inverter proposals, and DER equipment self- certification tests.

The Commission has set a fast tracked time frame, with a focus on new options for DER that can be implemented within the next 4-6 months, and 6-12 months.  The Commission will issue an initial “Issues for Consideration” for comment.  The Commission will then issue the procedural order which will set the road map for phase II of this VIP docket.

3.  PSIP (power supply improvement plan):  (2014-0183)  The Commission just issued its initial procedural order which established the parties to the docket and initial factors for consideration.  The Commission found the current PSIP issued by the utility to be inadequate, and the utility is ordered to produce an updated and improved PSIP, due by November 25, 2015.  All parties to the docket then have until January 15, 2016 to make comments on the new plan.

4.  Reexamination of the FIT:  (2013-0194)  This docket is still open pending the clearing of the active queue.  This docket will likely be rolled into the PSIP evaluation.

5.  Reexamination Decoupling docket:  (2013-0141)  This docket is still open,  but the majority of the filings were completed last year.

6.  RSWG:  (2011-0206) The Reliability Standards Working Group is still alive and well, and continuing to work in conjunction with the DER Docket.

IV.  Other Regulatory Matters

Community Solar Tariff

The utility has issued its Community Solar (Community-Based Renewable Energy aka CBRE) tariff and program application on October 1, 2015.  The application must first be approved by the Commission, and the utility has requested that the program be able to go into effect by January 1, 2016.  Other energy stakeholders, including HSEA, will likely ask for adjustments to the application.  We’re a step closer to CBRE, but it will still take some work.

V.  Legislation

Buckle your seat belts.  The legislature is getting ready for the 2016 session.  Likely subjects will be the utility business model, renewable energy incentives, the structure of the RPS, and a plea for the ongoing ITC, and no doubt something completely unexpected. 

Happy holidays and best wishes to everybody,


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