Hawaiian Electric Co. saw a 55% increase in new customer-sited solar systems in 2020 compared to 2019, even while having to contend with the Covid-19 pandemic.
In 2020, 5,965 new rooftop solar systems were installed across Oahu, Hawaii Island, and Maui County, up from the 3,840 systems in 2019. 2020 was also a landmark year for residential storage, with 4,624 of the the new solar systems (78%) including battery storage.
At the end of 2020, there were a cumulative 87,848 private customer systems connected to Hawaiian Electric’s five island grids, including 9,751 with energy storage. When combined with grid-scale solar installations, the generating capacity of the company’s solar projects totaled 968 MW at the end of 2020, an increase of 7% from 902 MW in 2019. In total, about 3.7 million panels call the islands their home.
With the 2020 figures taken into account, 36% of single-family homes on Oahu, 29% in Maui County, and 21% on Hawaii Island have rooftop solar, among the most per capita in the nation.
These numbers are only set to rise – significantly, in the hopes of Hawaiian Electric – as the company institutes its Quick Connect program, which will allow customers installing new rooftop solar systems to get their systems online faster.
For the next 12 months, utility customers on Oahu, Maui, and Hawaii islands will not need to go through certain steps of standard approvals before activating their systems. Instead, the approval process can now be handled after the system is built and turned on, substantially reducing the wait for many new solar customers.
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