Hawaii far outpaces other states when it comes to rooftop solar with now nearly 12 percent of customers pulling electricity from their own photovoltaic panels, compared to a .5 percent national average.
But the state’s solar boom has hit major hurdles in the past couple years as Hawaiian Electric Co. has faced technological and economic challenges in adding more solar to its grids.
Hawaii’s solar troubles are gaining national attention. From The Guardian:
“The economic obstacles also have been formidable. After a century of receiving power from utilities, customers are now generating their own power and helping the grid to balance supply and demand via smart appliances that can curtail electricity demand when required. To manage this more complex relationship, utilities must invest in new infrastructure. Buying surplus power at retail rates via credits to homeowners with solar panels also creates a revenue drain. ‘Essentially, the utility is now competing with its own customers,’ said Bentham Paulos, a clean energy consultant.”