WAILUKU, Maui — Hawaiian Electric has announced a new program intended to speed up rooftop solar installations and reduce costs for customers more quickly.
Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. announced the Quick Connect program in response to the economic downturn caused by the pandemic, The Maui News reported Friday.
The yearlong program will allow eligible customers on Maui, Oahu and the Big Island to activate new systems without going through standard approvals, which usually take several weeks or months per step.
“Quick Connect allows customers’ solar systems to be installed first and approved later,” said Lani Shinsato, co-director of customer energy resources. “This is a partnership with the solar industry in which they ensure system requirements are met so that the utility can maintain a safe and reliable grid for all.”
The company said in a statement that the program will speed connections for customers and increase rooftop solar on circuits with the most existing capacity while reducing work for contractors.
New systems must still start by applying for a county building permit, conform to the state Public Utilities Commission’s rules and be no longer than 25 kilowatts in capacity, officials said. Customers must also have a new, advanced meter installed.
Hawaii leads the nation in per capita use of rooftop solar, with more than 20% of customers with solar systems connected to island grids, company officials said.