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Quick Connect Pre-Approval Program
Quick Connect (QCT) is a one-year pilot that began in January 2021 to provide immediate savings to new rooftop solar customers during the COVID-19 pandemic, help solar contractors and boost the economic recovery of Hawaii.
It allows new solar systems that meet basic requirements to be installed and energized without full prior approval from Hawaiian Electric. This should reduce the time between a customer signing a contract for a new system and beginning to save money by using self-generated electricity. If successful, the program can be extended.
Terms & Conditions
- All circuits1 are eligible for QCT if installing under Customer Self-Supply (CSS) or Net Energy metering Plus (NEM Plus), both non-export programs.
- In addition, circuits with available Hosting Capacity (HC) greater than 30 percent are open to export programs [Customer Grid-Supply Plus (GSP) and Smart Export (ISE)] for systems less than 25 kW on Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii Island.
- Further, Restricted Circuits (RC) with available HC below 30 percent are open to export programs (GSP and ISE) on Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii Island with this additional condition. For restricted circuits only, export projects shall be energized in a non-export operating mode until conditional approval is granted by Hawaiian Electric or remain in a non-export mode if conditional approval is denied. Additional steps also required.
- If the project was built on a restricted circuit in a non-export operating mode, the initial CIT application submittal must include inverter screen shots demonstrating that the system is operating in a non-export mode.
- The application submitted in CIT should reflect the configuration and settings that the customer would ultimately operate their system in the future. For example, the customer on an restricted circuit builds an GSP but energizes it in a non-export mode to take advantage of QCT and early energization, then submits an application via CIT for an GSP with export settings for review but includes as an additional attachment, the non-export screen shots.
- Only upon receiving conditional approval from the Company may the customer operate their system in an export mode.
- Next the contractor would convert the non-export system to export as applied for in CIT and then submit the validation with the screen shots of the system operating in that mode.
- If the project did not receive conditional approval for export, the contractor must maintain the system in non-export operation while the customer considers their options provided by the Company.
- A customer on a Restricted Circuit agrees to enable the Volt-Watt function for the life of the project if participating in QCT and must initial understanding that projects on restricted circuits are not guaranteed to be approved for export.
- To operate in a non-export mode on a restricted circuit prior to receiving conditional approval you must ensure that the inverter you are utilizing is qualified for non-export if you wish to early energize your system. Learn more about qualified advanced inverters for non-export.
- Excluded are 4 kV and 2.4 kV circuits for export programs, regardless of hosting capacity.
- Hawaiian Electric may close any circuit to new Quick Connect participants if we believe that circuit can no longer operate safely and reliably without a full evaluation prior to installation. Projects with a county building permit initiated before the circuit is classified as a restricted circuit due to falling below the 30% HC threshold will still be accepted as an unrestricted Quick Connect.
- In addition to compliance with Public Utilities Commission Rule 14H these are the terms and conditions:
- CSS and NEM Plus systems are limited to 100 kW
- All systems shall have Volt-Watt activation for the life of the project and meet current Advanced Inverter setting requirements.
- System must have Advanced Metering where identified by Hawaiian Electric for voltage monitoring and data.
- Applications must ultimately be submitted via the company's online Customer Interconnection Tool and an interconnection agreement shall be completed or the project will be deemed non-complaint. Contractors must notify the Company that a customer intends to participate in Quick Connect and the customer shall acknowledge participation by initialing in the Quick Connect section on the Customer Authorization & Acknowledgement form. When submitting a Quick Connect application in CIT, the initials of the customer indicating that they want to participate in Quick Connect must be included on the form. The existing CIT will continue to be used for processing all rooftop solar applications, so Quick Connect customers will continue to receive all standard communications via the online tool.
1 Due to system constraints, circuits on the island of Molokai are not automatically eligible for QCT if submitting for non-export projects [Customer Self-Supply (CSS) or Net Energy metering Plus (NEM Plus)].
- First, check to see that your property qualifies for unrestricted or restricted Quick Connect by entering your address on the Locational Value Mapping tool. This step is not needed if you plan to add a non-export system under Customer Self-Supply (CSS) or Net Energy Metering Plus (NEM Plus).
- Next, as a Quick Connect customer you may: build their system, submit a formal application, or have your contractor request a net meter (recommended).
Request a Net Meter (recommended)
To use the Quick Connect program to energize your system as soon as possible, the following email notification from your contractor must be submitted to Hawaiian Electric to replace your meter with the net energy meter required to turn on your system:
- Completed Customer Authorization & Acknowledgement form
- Be sure to initial that you agree to participate in Quick Connect and other terms & conditions if on a restricted circuit.
- Proof that a county building permit has been initiated and paid for at the project’s address.
- A screen shot of the project’s address entered in LVM showing the address is on an unrestricted or restricted Quick Connect circuit.
Once these documents are received by the Hawaiian Electric, the company will initiate the change to replace your revenue meter. Once the net meter is installed, nothing else is required from the utility for you to turn on your system. Be sure that your contractor submits the application in CIT to finalize the interconnection agreement.
Some projects may require secondary distribution upgrades to be completed by Hawaiian Electric prior to energization. Customers will continue to be responsible for costs of contractor/electrician work on infrastructure (lateral work, ducts, handholes, weather heads, metering equipment, etc.) to support any requested service upgrades.
Once the system is installed with Volt-Watt activated, the net meter installed, and the City & County electrical inspection completed and approved, the system may then be energized. After this, projects will still be required to complete the entire interconnection process that results in a signed interconnection agreement with the Company and is required to pass Completeness Review and Validation steps.