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hawaii kai solar situation?

Discussion in 'Hawaii' started by pesos, Dec 13, 2014.

  1. pesos

    pesos Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2014
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Honolulu, HI
    Hi all,

    We are moving to Oahu soon and likely ending up in Hawaii Kai. I have heard the area is pretty well saturated for solar/heco. Does anyone know if this is the case? We are carless at the moment so trying to figure out our options, and with twins on the way the Model S is on the list...
     
  2. spleen

    spleen Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2012
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    1,125
    Location:
    Honolulu, HI
    Hawaii Kai is a hard neighborhood to get PV approved at this time. But congrats on the move to Hawaii!!
     
  3. StephenM

    StephenM Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2012
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    I live in Hawaii Kai, and you will see a lot of PV when you drive the area. Unless you're planning to go off the grid, it may be a lengthy process getting your solar approved. You might want to give HECO a call to find out how long as our electricity rates are more than 3x the national average (last I checked it was $.34/KwH?)
     
  4. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    Location:
    United States
    What are the rules if you're on-grid but NEVER export? If the concern is overloading the circuit during the day I would imagine that NEVER exporting should be viewed the same as 'off-grid'. There are a variety of 'off-grid' inverters that use the grid as back-up. They aren't capable of exporting... I don't see how the utility can keep you from installing something like this. You would still need batteries but not nearly as many as if you were disconnected from the grid.

    http://ressupply.com/store/solar-inverters-and-accessories/off-grid/magnum-energy-ms4448pae-sinewave-parallel-inverter
     
  5. gmtom1

    gmtom1 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2013
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    686
    Location:
    Honolulu, HI
    If you know your potential address, you can search for your neighborhood penetration on the HECO site here.

    http://www.hawaiianelectric.com/portal/site/heco/lvmsearch

    But as others have mentioned, Hawaii Kai is pretty well saturated. I just barely made it in before they cut it off - my PV contractor said my area was at 85%.
     
  6. Akikiki

    Akikiki A'-Lo-HA ! y'all

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Kaneohe
    nwdiver, if you have solar here and are on-grid, then you have signed a Net Metering Agreement with our electric company in order for your PV to be active. And that means your PV inverters are sending a matching sine wave in order for the panels to produce electricity. So by this point you are playing ball by their rules. In other words, to have reached the point where you have on-grid and producing electricity, you have already obtained their approval or they are not going to authorize your PV to be active on the grid.

    I am sure you are correct that their are a variety of off-grid inverters that use the grid as back-up. But the electric company is controlling via their approval/authorization process whether you are going to in fact use the grid for back up - regardless of the on-grid/off-grid inverters. you may not see how the utility can keep someone off from installing. Well, they are not trying to stop someone from having them installed. But they will turn off your electricity and remove your meter if you do not have their approval to activate your solar.

    We have heard via TV reports that some people are using batteries. But from what we see batteries are too expensive and require too many right now.

    I for one am hopeful that the gigafactory will produce a energy storage solution and it will be available and will give me the choice to move off-grid and increase my number of solar. Right now, the city won't approve the permit to allow me to add more solar until I perform a service upgrade to before adding more solar.
     
  7. gmtom1

    gmtom1 Member

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    Location:
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    I think battery & PV technology will evolve within the next 10 years to allow complete off-grid operation. The CEO of NextERA in some remarks I read regarding the HECO acquisition alluded to it too, which is why I think their corporate strategy is to develop utility scale PV/wind generation assets and drop the cost of energy to a point where consumers don't have enough economic incentive to go off-grid.
     

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