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Fri Dec 27, 2013, 03:15 PM

Booming Solar Energy Halted by Hawaii Utility Because Sun Produces Too Much Power!

Let's try to summarize this astounding Scientific American article that symbolizes the tentacles of the fossil fuel industry and utility companies in perpetuating destructive climate change.

Actually, the header and sub-headline of the piece sum it up nicely: "A Solar Boom so Successful, It's Been Halted: Photovoltaics proved so successful in Hawaii that the local utility, [the Hawaiin Electric Company] (HECO), has instituted policies to block further expansion."

Hawaiin residents are investing their own money to save longterm costs and the environment. The result is that they are producing a surplus of solar energy beyond what they can use in their homes. This extra energy is supposed to be diverted back into the power grid to save money on HECO's reliance on oil and to reduce global warming.

Now the US does have an aged electrical grid and HECO makes the claim that the surge in solar energy production by homeowners is creating safety problems:

Hawaiian Electric Co., or HECO, in September told solar contractors on Oahu that the island's solar boom is creating problems. On many circuits, the utility said, there's so much solar energy that it poses a threat to the system and a safety issue. Studies are needed on whether grid upgrades are necessary. If they are, residents adding solar must foot the bill. And starting immediately, contractors and residents would need permission to connect most small rooftop systems to the grid.

http://www.truth-out.org/buzzflash/commentary/item/18389-booming-solar-energy-halted-by-hawaii-utility-because-it-produces-too-much-power

14 replies, 1952 views

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Arrow 14 replies Author Time Post
Reply Booming Solar Energy Halted by Hawaii Utility Because Sun Produces Too Much Power! (Original post)
MindMover Dec 2013 OP
NYC_SKP Dec 2013 #1
kristopher Dec 2013 #4
postulater Dec 2013 #2
msongs Dec 2013 #3
MindMover Dec 2013 #5
DeSwiss Dec 2013 #6
awoke_in_2003 Dec 2013 #8
lonestarnot Dec 2013 #7
nickyreiner93 Dec 2013 #9
madokie Dec 2013 #10
MindMover Dec 2013 #14
gejohnston Dec 2013 #11
MindMover Dec 2013 #12
cprise Dec 2013 #13

Response to MindMover (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 03:39 PM

1. It's undeniable that too much distributed generation can tax an outdated infrastructure.

 

The infrastructure we have wasn't designed for anything BUT centralized generation, transmission, and distribution.

Many utilities are going to need time to catch up, and making matters worse (from the POV of expeditiousness) public utilities commissions, local governments, and other interested parties have to chime in.

I'm confident it will get done, sad that it can't be done immediately.

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Response to NYC_SKP (Reply #1)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 04:08 PM

4. That is true but there is a Big But to add...

The negative impact on profitability is a far more pervasive motivator for utility behavior than the issues involved with integration. Right now, it is a priority of ALEC to use the integration excuse as a justification for enacting policies designed to Stop Renewable Growth.

It is imperative that the utilities be required to engage in an objective, transparent process establishing the needs and costs involved in the integration of renewables.

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Response to MindMover (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 03:39 PM

2. A good problem to have. Hopefully sanity will prevail.

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Response to MindMover (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 03:59 PM

3. HECO is hawaii's enemy. time to kill it nt

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Response to msongs (Reply #3)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 04:44 PM

5. naaa, its the suns fault

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Response to MindMover (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 06:01 PM

6. Hahahahahahaha!!!!!

 

- It's coming!!!





[center]''When there's a huge solar energy spill, it's just called a nice day.''[/center]

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Response to DeSwiss (Reply #6)

Sat Dec 28, 2013, 12:19 AM

8. "You can change the direction...

 

just by thinking about it"- wow, that is a cool gif.

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Response to MindMover (Original post)

Fri Dec 27, 2013, 11:34 PM

7. Wow, rich.

 

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Response to MindMover (Original post)

Sat Dec 28, 2013, 12:51 AM

9. RE: Booming Solar Energy Halted by Hawaii Utility Because Sun Produces Too Much Power!


Using solar energy is a good for us because it's cheaper.
Even if this is less of an environmental concern but still a concern that we should be giving a focus on as well.

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Response to MindMover (Original post)

Sat Dec 28, 2013, 04:33 AM

10. In a way it kinda shows that solar can make a difference

Sure right now, there, its causing a problem but with some tweaks to the power grid and system over all that can be addressed.

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Response to madokie (Reply #10)

Sun Dec 29, 2013, 02:35 AM

14. okee madokie ... sounds so good I will have 2 of those ....

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Response to MindMover (Original post)

Sat Dec 28, 2013, 02:28 PM

11. how about not hooking up to the grid

and give HECO the finger? Then again, just think of the jobs that would be created by upgrading the system.

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Response to gejohnston (Reply #11)

Sat Dec 28, 2013, 03:08 PM

13. Indeed, if the grid doesn't add storage

to allow their residents to keep generating, then residents will disconnect and use their own storage in greater and greater numbers.

Grid operators are tempting an exodus by not accommodating solar power generators.

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