Hawaiian Electric Co. has introduced a new program, dubbed Quick Connect, that will accelerate the process for turning on new residential solar systems.
For the next 12 months, utility customers on Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii islands installing new systems on circuits where the new program is available will not need the standard approvals before activating their systems.
Instead, the approval process, one which typically takes several weeks or months for each step to be completed, can now be handled after the system is built and turned on, substantially reducing the wait for many new solar customers.
Customers looking to install new systems still must start by applying for a county building permit, make sure their proposed system conforms to the PUC’s Rule 14H, and ensure their planned installation is no larger than 25 kW in capacity, with other technical requirements.
According to Hawaiian Electric, the program has been enacted in order to support customers and the state’s solar industry during the economic downturn that has come with the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are committed to help our customers save money and help invigorate Hawaii’s economy as we get through the pandemic and move aggressively to 100 percent renewable electricity,” said Lani Shinsato, customer energy resources co-director at Hawaiian Electric.
Hawaiian Electric noted that if Quick Connect proves to be successful, the program could be extended beyond just one year.
Customers and contractors can find detailed specifications for eligibility at hawaiianelectric.com/quickconnect.
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Isn’t this very similar to the Australian PV system? Or at least one of the steps. Hopefully it continues after the one year period.
This should be national policy really. You don’t need to pull a permit to install a new HVAC unit, which is equally – if not more – complex and involved than solar. The difference is solar is much newer, but it’s both prevalent and mature enough now that streamlining makes the most sense.
No, John, the Australian system does not have the State/Councils taking fees & charges out of the process.
In Australia a 6.6kw fully installed (on a single story house) system is available for AUD$3,400 for Tier one panels & inverter.
I can purchase a US made system in Australia for as little as 45% of the cost of the exact same system in the US (I priced one up while in the US to see if what I’d heard was true).
There are no exorbitant building permits or any other Govt. fees for installation in Australia. So there is no long delay from signing on the dotted line until all fully installed. Even with Covid, currently the normal turnaround is less than 3 weeks from start to finish.
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