Recent announcements by HECO state that as a result of grid saturation, PV installations may require studies or added equipment that will add costs to solar installations. Due to the studies, installation delays may last up to a year or more before solar projects may begin. These announcements were sudden and the impact on the solar industry has been a slow down of the number of new installations and workers being laid off. Here, Pacific Islands Solar provides news as well as a solution.

Currently, HECO is performing a number of studies in grid-saturated areas that it hopes to complete by February or March. These will provide a base line for grid-saturated areas. As a grid gets saturated, HECO will use these studies to determine what equipment will be needed and paid for by the prospected solar installation owner. What these costs will be are not known, but they could be anywhere from $600 to $1,000 per kW of solar to be installed.


To consumers, this could add a significant cost to the price of their solar installations. The two unknowns are what these costs are and how long it will take HECO, for net metering purposes, to allow these installations to begin. Net metering allows the consumer to send solar-generated power to the grid. That power is credited to the consumer and can be used at a later time.


According to the rules today, you should not let your solar company install a PV system until HECO says it is OK to do so. Grid saturation information is available on HECO’s website and you as a consumer can check the status of your home to see at what saturation point your home is. There have been reports that some installers are ignoring the new rules, and it is actually illegal for installers to do so.

A solution to the problem is a hybrid grid interactive solar system that provides both grid-tied benefits with off-grid independence. No net metering agreement is needed because no power is exported back to grid, as all power generated is either used by the homeowner or sent to the customer’s battery bank to be used later. Should all of the customer’s generated power be depleted, they can purchase the additional power from HECO, since it is still connected to the grid. A controller connects the various components of this system, and it is a great way to avoid all the delays and added costs that one would be subject to as part of the net metering program.


Pacific Islands Solar has teamed up with Kyocera Solar (with 37 years of experience manufacturing solar modules) and various other equipment providers to engineer the right system for you. It can show you how economical these hybrid systems are and will only use the finest products for long-term solutions.

Pacific Islands Solar offers a 10-year system warranty and five year free system maintenance/cleaning with every purchase. Call 841-7756 to see the difference prior to making a final decision for your solar needs. The company knows you will see the difference in what it offers.

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