Hawaiian Electric rolls out enhanced online tool to help customers and contractors plan new PV projects
News Release from HECO March 5, 2013
(Honolulu, Hawaii): To make it easier for customers and contractors to make informed decisions about installing new solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, Hawaiian Electric Company has improved its online Oahu map that helps with planning such systems.
The Locational Value Maps (LVM) are available at heco.com by clicking on “Clean Energy,” “Clean Energy Generation,” and then “Locational Value Maps.” (See the LVM for Oahu, Maui, or Hawaii Island.)
Hawaiian Electric’s enhancements to the online Oahu map tool include:
1. Customers and contractors can now search for a specific street number and name instead of just street names. As several electric circuits may serve a street, this new capability makes it possible to pinpoint the circuit status of a specific home or business.
2. Data is now updated nightly on weekdays, making the information timely.
3. Map colors now more precisely show how much customer-sited electric generation of any kind is on a circuit.
4. The tool now shows how much circuit capacity for distributed generation remains before reaching a 15% checkpoint that may indicate the need for further study before more distributed generation (DG) can be added to that circuit.
When large amounts of PV and any form of customer-sited distributed generation are already installed on an electric circuit, Hawaiian Electric needs to consider whether adding even more distributed generation may make electric service less reliable for all customers on that circuit whether they have DG or not. On Oahu, small solar PV systems of 10 kilowatts (kW) or less (such as might be installed on a single-family home or small business) generally do not require additional interconnection studies at this time. However, larger systems may present reliability concerns that require circuit studies and upgrades.
“This is one of many ways Hawaiian Electric is making it easier for customers to make informed decisions about adding solar PV to their homes and businesses and for PV contractors to help potential customers decide on properly sized systems,” said Scott Seu, Hawaiian Electric vice president of energy resources and operations. “Our goal is to provide our customers and solar providers with information that is timely, precise and clear.”
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