Business

Residential Rooftop Solar Increases by 1% on Big Island

January 16, 2019, 10:57 AM HST
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Installation of residential rooftop solar systems increased by 1% on Hawai‘i Island in 2018, according to a Hawai‘i utilities press release on Jan. 16, 2019.

Installation of residential solar systems used by Hawaiʿi Electric Light, Hawaiian Electric and Maui Electric customers increased by 5.3% in 2018 from 2017, continuing Hawai‘i’s leadership as the No. 1 state for private rooftop solar.

Year-end figures show that 18% of residential customers in the Hawaiian Electric Companies’ five-island service territory are using rooftop solar, up from 17% in 2017.

Nearly 4,000 new systems came online in 2018, supporting the companies’ drive to reach the state’s next milestone of 30% renewable energy by 2020.

Residential systems

2017

2018

Oʿahu

51,087

18%

19%

Maui County

11,414

18%

19%

Hawaiʿi Island

11,830

15%

16%

Consolidated

74,331

17%

18%

Hawai‘i’s percentage is more than double that of Connecticut, which is second at 6.8%; California is third at 5.9%; Arizona, fourth at 4.5%; and Utah and Massachusetts are both at 3.4%, according to the Smart Electric Power Alliance.

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“We are extremely proud of the progress we’ve made as a company and as a state to build steady growth in residential rooftop solar,” said Jim Alberts, Hawaiian Electric senior vice president of customer service. “Rooftop solar is a critical piece of the renewable mix that will move the state toward a 100 percent clean energy future, and we’re excited to see the numbers increase year after year.”

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Residential rooftop solar systems installed across the Hawaiian Electric Companies’ service territory rose to 74,331 in 2018 from 70,607 in 2017, a 5.3% jump.

All islands saw an increase.

On Oʿahu, one out of three single-family homes now have rooftop solar.

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As a renewable energy resource, there are now 418 megawatts of residential rooftop solar online, including 63 on Hawaiʿi Island, 289 on Oʿahu and 66 in Maui County.

In the 10 years since the state created the Hawaiʿi Clean Energy Initiative, the companies have reduced fossil fuel use by 26%t, importing about 48 million fewer gallons of oil annually to generate electricity.

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