Hawaiian Electric opens new phase of shared solar to developers of small and large projects

Customers can participate only after projects are approved

Release Date: 3/11/2022

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HONOLULU, March 11, 2022 – Hawaiian Electric has launched shared solar, the latest phase of community-based renewable energy, to developers of small and large projects – including those tailored to low- and moderate-income customers on Hawaii Island, Maui and Oahu.

This latest application process is available for small projects (up to 250 kilowatts). Projects that qualify will be accepted in a four-month application window on a first-come basis up to the program’s capacity limit for each island. A request for proposals for Lanai and Molokai was issued Nov. 29, 2021, and closed Feb. 15 and March 1, respectively.

Larger projects (250 kW and above) will be procured through a formal RFP process. More details can be found on our Competitive Bidding for New Generation page.

Potential solar developers and subscriber organizations that are able to recruit customers to be “subscribers” in a small project should register at https://communityenergyhawaii.com, the shared solar portal. Potential subscribers do not need to register until projects are approved.

After listening to community concerns about renewable energy project siting, regulators approved Hawaiian Electric’s request to allow residents who live near a large shared solar project the first chance at becoming subscribers.

“We’re excited to launch shared solar, designed to bring savings and a chance to participate in the renewable energy movement to many more customers, especially those who aren’t able to install a private rooftop solar system,” said Lani Shinsato, director of customer energy resources, programs. “To get the most out of shared solar, we need subscriber organizations – including nonprofits, homeowner associations and churches – to get involved so that these groups and those they serve can share in the benefits.”

Shared solar provides a way for subscribers to benefit from the electricity generated by a solar energy facility located on the same island.

Electricity from a shared solar project will enter the island grid to help the state achieve its renewable energy goals. Once a shared solar project is complete, tested and approved to begin sending electricity to the grid, subscribers will get credit on their monthly electric bill based on their level of participation in the project.

The available solar capacity of the shared solar program is over 250 megawatts, potentially including energy storage, across the five islands Hawaiian Electric serves. Some project sizes are limited in capacity. But mid-tier and large projects tailored for low- and moderate-income customers are not capped. Organizations that primarily serve such customers can apply to be a subscriber organization, which will recruit participants, and/or anchor tenants that participate directly in the solar savings.

Details of the program can be found on our CBRE Resources page.

A program guide for subscriber organizations that outlines the small project process can be found at hawaiianelectric.com/sharedsolar.