Firstly, Hawaiian Electric (HECO) selected seven distributed generation solar projects on the islands of Hawaii Island, Oahu, and Maui. Secondly, it will offer clean energy procurement to low-and-moderate income (LMI) households.
HECO is offering solar procurement as part of a new community-based renewable energy or CBRE program. It help lower the electric bills of Hawaiian ratepayers and assist customers unable to afford the cost to install rooftop solar arrays.
Moreover, in March,HECO sent out requests for proposals to developers, companies, organizations, or groups to form a subscriber organization of shared solar projects for the utility’s LMI customers.
After a competitive RFP bidding process, the projects selected for inclusion in the CBRE program were co-developed by Nexamp Solar and Melink Solar Development. The utility continues to work with the developers to finalize 20-year contracts.
Also, the LMI projects are expected to enter commercial operations in 2025.
The Institute for Local Self-Reliance, Hawaii’s Community Power, grades state based on community solar, net metering terms, PACE financing, community choice aggregation, and various statewide tariffs and utility protocols. The Institute said that the state of Hawaii has a Grade C community power rating.
In addition, Hawaii scores in the middle. The state has some policies that continue to support local authority over consumer energy choice, according to the ILSR.
Moreover, Hawaii rocketed to 18th place in the U.S. solar development market in 2021 from 32nd coming out of the Covid-19 pandemic with 1.49 GW of current PV installations as of mid-2022.
Also, the island state has been stymied by slow growth prospects and ranks 41st in the country based on 825 MW of developments in the pipeline over the next five years.
Finally, the Hawaii State Legislature under Governor David Ige directed the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC). It formed a “community-based renewable energy” tariff, Section 269-27.4 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes.