2013-12-20. A Solar Boom So Successful, It's Been Halted.

posted Dec 26, 2013, 11:39 AM by Alan Gould
For GSS Energy Use chapter 5. Excerpt: Photovoltaics proved so successful in Hawaii that the local utility, HECO, has instituted policies to block further expansion. ...Hawaiian Electric Co., or HECO, in September told solar contractors on Oahu that the island's solar boom is creating problems. On many circuits, the utility said, there's so much solar energy that it poses a threat to the system and a safety issue. Studies are needed on whether grid upgrades are necessary. If they are, residents adding solar must foot the bill. And starting immediately, contractors and residents would need permission to connect most small rooftop systems to the grid. ... The new struggle on Hawaii foreshadows what the rest of the country could face as solar moves closer to the mainstream, several involved in the debate said. ...Utilities in states with growing levels of solar have argued that fixed fees and other changes are needed because customers with net metering bill credits don't pay their fair share of transmission and distribution charges. The Golden State's Legislature has ordered the California Public Utilities Commission to retool NEM by 2015. The new program will need to be "based on electrical system costs and benefits to nonparticipating ratepayers."  http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=a-solar-boom-so-successfull-its-been-halted. Ann C. Mulkern, Scientific American Climate Wire.