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Friday, January 30, 2015
Hawaiian Electric Launches Online Tracker for Solar, Wind Approvals
By News Release @ 9:50 PM :: 2679 Views :: Energy

Hawaiian Electric Companies launch online Integrated Interconnection Queues

News Release from HECO

HONOLULU, Jan. 30, 2015 - In another step to support our customers in integrating more clean, renewable energy, Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light Company today are launching “Integrated Interconnection Queues” (IIQ) for each company. The online tool allows customers and developers to see the status and progress of planned renewable generation projects, including customer-sited rooftop solar as well as mid-sized and utility-scale wind and solar projects.

The IIQ for each company will show an application’s status relative to other projects proposed on the neighborhood circuit and on the islandwide electrical system. The list includes projects at every stage of the interconnection process, including applications approved for interconnection but not yet installed by the customer.

“Hawaii is experiencing unprecedented growth in rooftop solar and utility-scale solar, wind and other renewable generation,” said Jim Alberts, Hawaiian Electric senior vice president of customer service. “We know we need an improved interconnection process – we owe it to our customers. The goal for this Integrated Interconnection Queues is to provide fair and equitable treatment for all non-utility energy providers, including homeowners and developers.”

Previously, an applicant or developer had no way to know where a project stood in line. The IIQ includes Net Energy Metering (NEM), Feed-in Tariff (FIT), Standard Interconnection Agreement (SIA), Schedule Q and Purchase Power Agreements (PPA) that seek to interconnect on the distribution (also called “neighborhood circuit”) level. The utilities must approve interconnection of all distributed generation projects to protect the safety of customers and crews and assure reliable service for all, as provided in Hawaii Public Utilities Commission rules.

Information will be updated monthly. For example, data reported today will reflect information received through Dec. 31, 2014. Projects will be assigned a number designating their relative place in the queue for a specific neighborhood circuit based on the date/time the application was received or resubmitted and/or the date the application was determined complete and valid. Because this listing is public, names and addresses of applicants and developers are not visible to protect privacy. A project’s position in the queue will change as applicants progress through the review process and others move in and out of the IIQ.

Complete instructions, including FAQs, are on each company website: www.hawaiianelectric.com/IIQ, www.mauielectric.com/IIQ and www.hawaiielectriclight.com/IIQ.

Many projects listed at the top of the IIQ were approved for interconnection some years ago but have not been installed by the customer (designated “PI” for pending installation) or still await more information or other action from the customer (designated “CAR”). To ensure that only active projects reserve space in the queue, the Hawaiian Electric Companies will contact these customers to determine whether they intend to move forward with the project in a timely manner.

Actions to speed up interconnection

Earlier this month, Hawaiian Electric proposed to the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission a plan to increase distributed generation, primarily residential rooftop solar, in a way that’s safe, sustainable, and fair for all customers. The proposal is part of Hawaiian Electric’s plan to triple the amount of distributed solar power and increase renewable energy to more than 65 percent by 2030.

In addition, at the end of Oct. 2014, Hawaiian Electric announced a plan to clear the backlog of residential rooftop solar projects awaiting approval as of that date, provided those projects meet certain technical standards. The plan is to process 90 percent of those projects by April 2015 and the remainder, which may require additional circuit upgrades, by December 2015. For more information, visit www.hawaiianelectric.com/nem.

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