Why Hawaii Banned Solar! | The Solar Truth | What It Means For The Rest Of Us

Hey this is Adam again with The Solar
Truth and we have an interesting topic today, it's a solar in Hawaii.
So why was solar banned in Hawaii? Well we're gonna get details of what that
means and and what really the truth is behind that. There's been different
rumors in the past and people have been kind of confused what can they do what
can't they do and why this happened.

So the history of solar in Hawaii is the
first thing that we kind of need to understand. And back in 2010 they were
going to ban solar. So there was actually a proposed bill to ban solar. And Hawaii
electric "HECO" wanted to like have this proposed. So that got rejected in 2010
but shortly after that Hawaii Electric had problems and kind of made things
difficult for solar. And it wasn't just because they were losing money. You know that's not really what this is about. This is really about safety.

And as an
electrician like you know it this . . a lot of people this doesn't make sense to, but
when they realize how the electric grid works it starts making sense. You know
the electric grid is kind of like a big battery and it is balanced you know you
have an even flow of energy and it kind of goes up and down you know you have to
produce as much power as people are using and then there is some storage
that goes on there too. But the problem with solar is it kind of throws that off.
So basically Hawaii has the most expensive electricity so . . . in the United
States they import petroleum and coal, there's a lot of a lot of importation
makes it very expensive you know coal is normally pretty pretty cheap but it's
not cheap if you have to import it on a boat thousands of miles and stuff.

So the
electric ends up being about three to Four times the cost in Hawaii as in most
of the rest of the United States. Probably just about twice as much as
California cuz it's pretty expensive too. But as far as kilowatt prices go you
know you're . . . the cost in Hawaii are about 32 to 65, 70 cents a kilowatt what that
results in is someone my kind of a normal three-bedroom small
house you know that would have $100 bill and most of the US, has a $400
bill in Hawaii. So solar is gonna pay it for itself a lot better you produce the
same amount of energy and you know you can offset your whole bill. It's how it
used to work, but then they had too much solar. So the duck curve that we already
talked about a little bit. Now you know you can go back to that video on on "How
Electric Batteries Can Save You Money" And we talk a little bit about the "Duck Curve".

The Duck Curve is solar's effect on the grid. And solar produces more power and that reduces the demand on the grid and then it goes up really fast and peaks now at a later
time instead of earlier, so your peak of demand for solar and for energy that the
grid has to produce is now from like 4:00 to 9:00 p.m. So Hawaii is a small
island so they have another set of problems. They can't trade energy that
they you know are very limited on their infrastructure so they actually in 2000
I think 13 or 14. Yeah 2014 tried to connect Maui to O‘ahu. Now that's quite a quite a . . . you know a big feat that they were trying to do there. You know imagine
running huge electric wires like underwater I guess you know – from Maui
to O‘ahu.

And they decided it was gonna be too expensive, so they did not
do that. Instead they end up making people get a permit through through
Hawai Electric. And whatever Hawaii utility company as well as the city or
county before they did solar. So you have some people like this lady here. 3 years to have
solar panel installed. That waited for multiple years and then, Hawaii decided
to not let you . . . they took away net energy metering. So in 2015 – our other video explains explains Net Energy Metering. They took that away. So your
meter can't spin backwards anymore and in fact you're not allowed to send any
solar energy back to the grid in Hawaii because that duck curve. If
that belly of the duck gets below zero the grid has some big problems. You know the grid can possibly start exploding transformers and you know – who knows what kind of problems you know it's just not gonna be good,
So so they can't allow any more solar to back feed the grid otherwise when the
when there's really nice sunny days that aren't too hot, which is pretty common in
Hawaii.

Not many people are using air-conditioning and stuff. Then too much
solar you might produce more than the whole state uses, and there's there goes
below zero and there's those problems so now instead of sending your energy back
to the grid, solar is not technically banned, but you're not allowed
to send any solar back to the grid . . . now. So you have to get a battery, and you have
to charge that battery during the day so on the solar instead of that belly of
the curve they goes that power goes into the battery. So then that curve kind of
levels out and then instead of that demand that's created in the evening you
use that battery power so you know that duck curve kind of ends up balancing out
and becomes more even. Making the grid a lot more stable and functional. So in
summary you can currently get solar in Hawaii. In most cases I mean you do have
to get approval and you do have to go through Hawaii electric first and sometimes that wait can be like one to four years.

It's gotten and better and they're
pretty actually solar friendly now. But that you require you to have a battery
and not send energy back to the grid so there's a lot of limitations it's not as
easy as it used to be. You know people that got solar there a long time ago
they're they're pretty well off – you know they kind of you get grandfathered in
for a lot of those old rates. Hawaii Electric is also looking at you know
well actually they looked at not paying you as much for solar power but then
they basically just didn't pay you anything for solar power now. Which
because you can't send it back to the grid, that's that's what net energy
metering is and they got rid of that. So you need to charge your battery with
solar during the day and then use it at night and that's how it works. Any
additional power you use is going come from the grid still, and any
additional power that the solar could produce when your battery's full is kind
of gonna be lost.

But it still is a really good payback because of how much Hawaii Electric charges it's just the additional component of the battery
which costs more, and the having to use it which takes your efficiency down a
little bit. And sometimes your panels are just sitting there with a full battery
and no power being used and now you know your meter can't spin backwards so
you're not saving money for that those you know few times. So that's
about it I will see you next time on The Solar Truth . . thanks. you.

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