New Hawaii Solar Programs – Smart Export and Customer Grid Supply Plus

Starting on 2/20/2018, the three Hawaiian investor-owned utilities will offer two new programs for customers with solar: Customer Grid Supply Plus and Smart Export.  Both programs offer export credits for power provided to the grid, an option that has not been available in Hawaii since the Customer Grid Supply programs closed in 2017. Genability has just made these two programs available for Hawaiian Electric Co (HECO), Hawaiian Electric Light Co (HELCO) and Maui Electric Co (MECO) for use in your solar proposals.

Customer Grid Supply Plus

The Customer Grid Supply Plus (CGSP) program, like the Customer Grid Supply (CGS) program it replaces,  provides solar customers with an export credit for power provided to the grid.   Here are the new (lower) export credits under CGSP:

  • O’ahu 10.08¢/kWh
  • Hawai’i Island 10.55¢/kWh
  • Maui 12.17¢/kWh
  • Moloka’i 16.77¢/kWh
  • Lana’i 20.8¢/kWh

In addition, customers enrolled in the CGSP program must have “new equipment that allows the electric utility to manage power from the system when necessary to maintain a stable grid”.

To support the CGSP program Genability has created new versions of all the residential tariffs in HECO, HELCO and MECO.  They can be identified by the tariff code ( “-CGSP) and tariff name ( “, Customer Grid Supply Plus”).  For example, the new tariff for HECO’s default residential offer is: R-SE: Residential – Smart Export

Smart Export

The Smart Export (SE) program is a completely new structure for the Hawaiian utilities that requires the customer to have energy storage installed.  With storage, the utility will provide solar customers with higher export credits, but only outside of peak-solar hours.  Any exports to the grid between 9 AM and 4 PM receive no credit, while exports to the grid between 4 PM and 9 AM are credited at the rates below:

  • O’ahu 14.97¢/kWh
  • Hawai’i Island 11¢/kWh
  • Maui 14.41¢/kWh
  • Moloka’i 16.64¢/kWh
  • Lana’i 20.79¢/kWh

Genability has created new Smart Export versions of each residential tariff in HECO, HELCO and MECO. They can be identified by the tariff code (+ “-SE) and tariff name (+ “, Smart Export”).  For example, the new tariff for HECO’s default residential offer is: R-CGSP: Residential – Customer Grid Supply Plus

Solar Savings Calculations

Customer Grid Supply Plus and Smart Export both require the customer to install a dual register meter to allow for instantaneous netting of imports from and exports to the grid.  With a dual register meter, the utility measures imports and exports in real time rather than by 15 minute or hourly intervals.  Genability models the intra-hour variability when calculating solar savings.  Visit our blog post Accurate Savings Forecasts: California’s NEM 2.0 & Hawaii’s Customer Grid Supply to learn more about how we do it.

Impact on Solar Savings

Finally the most important question, how do these new programs impact customer savings with solar?  Genability has run savings calculations for typical residential customers with solar systems that offset 80% of the customer load.

Utility Customer Self Supply Customer Grid Supply Plus
HECO 13.3¢/kWh 16.5¢/kWh
HELCO 16.7¢/kWh 23.2¢/kWh
MECO (Maui) 14.6¢/kWh 22.0¢/kWh
MECO (Moloka’i) 19.2¢/kWh 27.0¢/kWh
MECO (Lana’i) 19.9¢/kWh 29.4¢/kWh

As you can see getting export credits, even at a considerable discount from the retail rate, greatly improves the avoided cost of power (ACP) throughout Hawaii.  We did not calculate the typical ACP for the Smart Export tariff because the charge/discharge strategy for the battery will drive a significant portion of the savings.

It’s encouraging to see the economics of solar get better in Hawaii.  We look forward to seeing lots of proposals run through our APIs.  Happy quoting!

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