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Hawaii

Hawaii

Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

Printable Version
Interconnection Standards   

Last DSIRE Review: 09/27/2012
Program Overview:
State: Hawaii
Incentive Type: Interconnection
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Solar Thermal Electric, Photovoltaics, Landfill Gas, Wind, Biomass, Hydroelectric, Geothermal Electric, Fuel Cells, Municipal Solid Waste, CHP/Cogeneration, Fuel Cells using Renewable Fuels, Microturbines, Other Distributed Generation Technologies
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Industrial, Residential, Nonprofit, Schools, State Government, Fed. Government
Applicable Utilities:Investor-owned utilities
System Capacity Limit:No limit specified
Standard Agreement:Yes
Insurance Requirements:Generally required
External Disconnect Switch:Required
Net Metering Required:No
Authority 1:
Date Enacted:
HRS ยง 269-101 et seq.
6/25/2001 (subsequently amended)
Authority 2:
Date Enacted:
HI PUC Docket No. 2010-0015, Decision & Order
11/29/2011
Authority 3:
Date Enacted:
Decision & Order No. 24159
4/18/2008
Authority 4:
Date Enacted:
Decision & Order No. 24238
5/22/2008
Authority 5:
Date Enacted:
Date Effective:
HI PUC Order No. 19773
11/15/2002
11/15/2002
Summary:

Hawaii has established simplified interconnection rules for small renewables and separate rules for all other distributed generation (DG). For inverter-based systems up to 10 kilowatts (kW) in capacity (and inverter-based DG under 250 kW on islands other than Kauai), there is a simple application process for interconnection. Systems must use inverters compliant with IEEE 1547 and UL 1741.  For other smaller systems, there are simplified interconnection procedures for net metered systems powered by solar, wind, biomass and hydroelectric up to 50 kW on Kauai and 100 kW in capacity on the other islands. 

The state's largest electric utility, Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO), which owns Hawaii Electric Light Company (HELCO) and Maui Electric Company (MECO), uses a set of simple interconnection guidelines. HECO also uses a simple, net-metering agreement. A manual, lockable disconnect switch is required for net-metered systems, and mutual indemnification is required. The state's only other utility, Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC), has a similar set of rules for net metering and interconnection.  In May 2010, A Public Utilities Commission (PUC) decision and order created a standard three-party interconnection agreement.

Two dockets were opened in 2006 to streamline interconnection procedures: (1) PUC Docket No. 2006-0497 (Hawaiian Electric Co., Hawaii Electric Light Co., and Maui Electric Co.,); and (2) PUC Docket No. 2006-0498 (KIUC). The PUC issued a decision and order for each of these dockets in April and May 2008, and more streamlined procedures for interconnection were adopted. KIUC provides a fast-track process for small generating facilities under two megawatts (MW), while larger systems must undergo more extensive review.

In November 2011, the Public Utilities Commission issued a decision and order to improve Hawaii's interconnection standards. The order approved a supplemental review process and other measures to limit the scope of systems that must conduct an Interconnection Requirements Study (IRS).  In the past, a system would automatically have to conduct an IRS if the project did not meet certain technical screening criteria. In particular, the 15% circuit penetration threshold often triggered an IRS.  In the new approach by the HECO Companies, if certain technical screening criteria are not met, the utility will conduct a supplemental review if a customer chooses to proceed with interconnection.  The supplemental review will determine if simplified interconnection can take place, if interconnection requirements beyond simplified interconnection are needed, or if an IRS is needed.  The new rules have set timelines in the interconnection process, including a timeline for dispute resolution.  Under the new rules, a meeting to resolve a dispute must be scheduled within 15 days of a written request being submitted.


 
Contact:
  Public Information - Hawaii PUC
Hawaii Public Utilities Commission
465 South King Street, Room 103
Honolulu, HI 96813
Phone: (808) 586-2020
E-Mail: Hawaii.PUC@hawaii.gov
Web Site: http://www.hawaii.gov/budget/puc
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Disclaimer: The information presented on the DSIRE web site provides an unofficial overview of financial incentives and other policies. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance, and it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual contact provided below each summary to verify that a specific financial incentive or other policy applies to your project.

While the DSIRE staff strives to provide the best information possible, the DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. make no representations or warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of the information. The DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. disclaim all liability of any kind arising out of your use or misuse of the information contained or referenced on DSIRE Web pages.

Copyright 2013 - 2014 North Carolina State University, under NREL Subcontract No. XEU-0-99515-01. Permission granted only for personal or educational use, or for use by or on behalf of the U.S. government. North Carolina State University prohibits the unauthorized display, reproduction, sale, and/or distribution of all or portions of the content of the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) without prior, written consent.