HSEA Report May

Posted on Wednesday, June 13, 2018

MEDIA CONTACT:

Will Giese (808) 232-8371

wgiese@hsea.org

NEWS Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 13, 2018

Solar Interconnections Remain Steady; Oahu Permitting Jumps Year over Year.

Solar industry activity continues to accelerate in May. While interconnection remains steady, permitting in Oahu jumped by over 30% when compared with 2017 numbers. Two new programs, CGS+ and Smart Export, ticked up equally signaling market interest.

“Both Oahu and Big Island permitting picked up in May,” said Giese. “The recent eruption on big island has increased the urgency for rapid deployment of renewable like solar that build inherent stability and resiliency into the grid.”

Permitting in Oahu continues to climb, although over half of all permits pulled in May are concentrated between 5 companies. The were 34 companies that pulled solar permits in May, compared with 91 companies that pulled permits this year. Solar hot water also saw its best month of the year so far, with 76 permits pulled for solar thermal systems across Oahu.

“It’s clear that some companies have reached a steady rhythm for solar development,” said Giese. Although the developer pool is less diverse than it was during the 2012 peak, we’ve reached an equilibrium where the remaining companies are well positioned to capitalize on the various tariff programs.”

The recent eruptions at Kilauea raised questions from residents about the ability of their solar systems to function in high ash falls. Many of the systems built on Big Island utilize NEMA 4R rated outdoor enclosures for inverters and other wall-mounted equipment. This enclosure rating protects the equipment from ash and dust caused by the eruptions. Any settled ash on solar modules will negatively impact system performance and should be cleared as soon as it is safe to do so.

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“Inverter and equipment malfunction because of ash falls on the Big Island is not a big concern,” says Giese. “When folks are able to do so, they should clear the ash and dust from their solar panels as that will be the most likely cause of drops in system performance.”

 

 

 

 

Market Data

Table 1: Permitting Figures by month 2016/2017/2018

2016

(Jun)

2017

(May)

2018

(May)

%Change (2017-2018)

%Change (2016-2018)

Systems Online

(HECO/MECO/HELCO)

691

297

286

Down 4%

Down 59%

Permits Pulled YTD

(Oahu)

504

207

308

Up 33%

Down 39%

NEM

CGS

CSS

CGS+

SmartExport

Systems In Queue

(not PTO)

(HECO/MECO/HELCO)

799

4429

1467

152

168

% of Total Systems

1.12%

51.85%

71.49%

98.06%

100%

 Table 2: % of Systems in Queue vs. PTO (HECO/MECO/HELCO)

“The industry is showing strong progress in adapting to new solar programs,” said Giese. “Market data for the first half of 2018 suggests that customers will have more options to go solar moving into the second half of this year than they’ve had for the past 18 months.”

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Founded in 1977, the Hawaii Solar Energy Association is a Non-Profit organization comprised of installers, distributors, manufacturers, auditors, and financiers of solar water heating and photovoltaic systems. The majority of our member companies are locally owned and operated, making HSEA the leading voice of Hawaii’s solar industry.

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