Hawaiian Electric sees brisk pace of solar installations

New systems added in 2022 bring total to nearly 97,000

Release Date: 2/15/2023

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HONOLULU, Feb. 15, 2023 – The number of private solar systems on Hawaiian Electric’s grids rose to nearly 97,000 last year, fueled by customer incentives offered by the company, an extension of federal tax credits for solar and rising electricity rates.

At the end of 2022 there were 96,920 solar systems with 1,118 megawatts of generating capacity and 155 MW of battery storage across the five islands served by Hawaiian Electric. The number of solar systems, most of which are rooftop, rose by 4,416, or 4.8%, from 2021.

Hawaiian Electric’s Battery Bonus program, which pays a one-time cash incentive and monthly bill credits to those who add energy storage to an existing or new rooftop solar system, became available to customers on Maui last year after launching on Oahu in mid-2021.

“This likely helped convince some customers who may have been putting off adding solar until now,” said Kaiulani Shinsato, Hawaiian Electric Customer Energy Resources co-director. “In addition, higher electric rates and an extension of the federal tax credits helped drive demand for solar.”

Number of PV Systems PV Capacity, MW
Number Residential % Commercial % Capacity Residential % Commercial %
Oahu 66,171 96% 4% 848 48% 52%
Hawaii Island 15,358 94% 6% 124 65% 35%
Maui County 15,391 92% 8% 146 59% 41%
Total 96,920     1,118  

Some 22% of Hawaiian Electric’s residential customers have rooftop solar and 37% of customers in single-family homes have solar. Hawaii has among the highest rates of rooftop solar adoption in the nation.

With a commitment to cut carbon emissions from power generation 70% from 2005 levels by 2030, Hawaiian Electric’s Climate Change Action Plan includes the addition of 50,000 rooftop solar systems on homes and businesses over the next eight years. Almost all new systems today include energy storage, giving customers greater control over their energy use and saving them money while supporting the stability and reliability of island grids.

In addition, momentum continues to build with the company’s shared solar program, also known as community-based renewable energy (CBRE). Shared solar offers a way for customers unable to install private rooftop solar to benefit from solar energy generated on their island.