State lawmakers for the second consecutive year failed in the waning days of the legislative session to agree on a bill reforming Hawaii's renewable energy tax credit law.
However, reverting to the status quo this time leaves solar energy companies in a much more precarious position than a year ago.
Without a change in the law, solar photovoltaic installers will be forced to operate under temporary administrative rules that have been in effect since Jan. 1, significantly restricting the amount of tax credits their customers can claim.
Smart electronics are taking the world by storm. From techno-textiles to transparent electronic displays, the world of intelligent technology is growing fast and a revolutionary new device has just been added to its ranks. Researchers at the University of Exeter have developed a new photoelectric device that is both flexible and transparent.
Electricity utilities on Oahu, Kauai and Maui ranked among the top 10 power companies nationwide for the amount of solar photovoltaic generating capacity installed last year on a per capita basis, an industry trade group reported Monday.
Kauai Island Utility Cooperative was second on the list, with 282 watts of PV installed in 2012, according to the Solar Electric Power Association. The Oahu operations of Hawaiian Electric Co. ranked fourth with 230 watts of PV per capita. Maui Electric Co., a subsidiary of HECO, was sixth with 198 watts per capita.
HECO's Oahu operations also ranked 10th highest in total PV installations, with 65 megawatts of generating capacity.
The city dedicated a 280-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system Thursday at a maintenance base yard in Halawa that will reduce its electricity bill by an estimated $138,000 a year.
The 1,188 PV panels installed at the city's Department of Facilities Maintenance Halawa Corporation Yard will provide about 46 percent of the facility's energy needs annually, or enough to power 64 typical Oahu households, according to a news release from the city.
The solar panels also provide shade for a parking area at the facility.
A cash rebate for Hawaiian Electric Co. customers who install solar water heaters will be increased to $1,000 for a limited time in an effort to boost sales of the energy-efficient units.
The rebate, which had been $750, will be available for systems bought starting today, said Hawaii Energy, which administers the state's energy conservation program in Honolulu, Maui and Hawaii counties. Hawaii Energy officials did not say how long the higher rebate would be available.