Financial, technical challenges slow Hawaii’s solar power boom

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Cloudy weather makes it difficult to maintain reliability on Hawaii’s isolated grids. 

March 10, 2015

With about 10% of households equipped with PVs, Hawaii is the residential solar installation leader in the U.S. But the state’s solar surge is slowing. Financial and technical hurdles are endangering the state’s goal of generating 40% percent of its electricity from renewables by 2030.

The intermittency of solar power at night and during cloudy weather makes it difficult to maintain reliability on the isolated grids of Hawaii’s islands. In addition, having utilities buy surplus power at retail rates via credits to homeowners with solar panels drains utility revenues.

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