Kokua Line: How do I know if I have enough solar power to sell it to Hawaiian Electric?

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Question: I am interested in the Hawaiian Electric Battery Bonus program, but I cannot get my question answered. As part of the program, you must allow HECO to siphon kilowatts from your battery for two hours during the 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. time slot for 10 years. Since I need to conserve some of the battery power for my own needs, how do I determine how much I can commit to donating to HECO for 10 years? I sent them an email but got no response. I also checked with a solar energy company, with no luck.

Responnse: Hawaiian Electric’s Battery Bonus program will pay residential and commercial customers to add energy storage (a battery) to their rooftop solar power systems. There is no minimum or maximum battery power (kW) or capacity (kWh), “but it is important to have a panel to battery ratio that allows the battery to perform its intended function. For example, you need enough solar power generation on-site to meet the committed battery capacity each day or you risk penalties, ”the company website says. He says customers should work with their solar contractors to ensure their existing or new roofing system meets program requirements while also meeting customer needs.

We followed up with Hawaiian Electric spokesperson Shannon Tangonan, who emailed this response:

“Solar entrepreneurs are just starting to learn about this program, so please be patient. Our advice is to work with a good contractor (look for multiple deals if you choose a new one) to design a generation and storage system according to individual needs. Battery Bonus allows customers to use what they need for themselves, but requires customers to export committed capacity for 6:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. These systems will automatically export excess energy to the grid for use. by other customers, thus reducing the need to provide network-based generation.

“Solar entrepreneurs should soon be able to help with this design. And although the commitment is 10 years for the incentive, after December 31, 2023, customers will have the option to switch to an arrangement that will be established by the Public Utilities Commission if the new arrangement is more beneficial to them. See hawaiianelectric.com/batterybonus for more information.

In a follow-up phone call, you said you already have a roof system and are considering adding a battery for this program. You will need to get back to your contractor to answer your specific questions, according to Hawaiian Electric’s response.

Other readers interested in installing rooftop solar panels for this program asked if Hawaiian Electric would recommend a suitable contractor. The answer is no; its FAQ states that Hawaiian Electric “cannot recommend a contractor or a piece of equipment.”

These readers can search for solar energy contractors and check the ratings on bbb.org. They can also check the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs website to see if a contractor is licensed or has a history of complaints. See cca.hawaii.gov/pvl for more information.

Q: Information on the new eviction notices was helpful (808ne.ws/718kline), but the law is still unclear. There should be a form. I own an apartment that I inherited from my parents and I use the rent to pay for my children’s school fees. I had to take out loans to pay for school fees because the tenant stopped paying his rent months ago when he was getting a lot of different help. You can be sure that I will send an eviction notice when it is legal.

A: The Pacific Mediation Center has since posted a link to sample eviction notices for Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, Kauai and the Island of Hawaii. Templates for “15 Days Notice of Non-Payment of Rent” are available on repnakamura.com, a website of State Representative Nadine K. Nakamura. The Kauai (District 14) Democrat chairs the Housing Committee at State House.

You can also find links to the templates on the Mediation Center’s Law 57 webpage, which emphasizes landlord-tenant mediation. Go to mediatehawaii.org/semp and scroll to the bottom of the page, where you’ll find “community resources,” including a link to the Nakamura website.

Hawaii’s moratorium on evictions expires Saturday.


Write to Kokua Line at Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 7 Waterfront Plaza, Suite 210, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Honolulu 96813; call 529-4773; fax 529-4750; or send an email to kokualine@staradvertiser.com.


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