Hawaiian Electric Company has again been named one of the nation’s Top 10 electric utilities for the amount of solar power added to its system per customer in 2010. The designation came from the 2010 SEPA Utility Solar Rankings report published annually by the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA).
Of the 230 utilities that participated in the SEPA survey, Hawaiian Electric ranked third nationally in added solar watts-per-customer (up from eighth in the nation in 2009) after Silicon Valley Power in Santa Clara, California and Public Service Electric & Gas Company (PSE&G), based in Newark, New Jersey.
In cumulative or total solar watts per customer, Kauai Island Utility Co-op ranked second as it did in 2009 following Southern California Edison. Hawaii Electric Light Company is fourth in the nation (up from sixth in the previous year) and Maui Electric Company remains at fifth in a virtual tie with Hawaii Electric Light Company. Hawaiian Electric Company is ninth in the nation (up from 12th in 2009) for cumulative solar electric power per customer.
“This recognition of Hawaii’s continued progress in adding solar power to our grids is really an honor shared with Hawaii’s solar industry,” said Robbie Alm, Hawaiian Electric executive vice president. “Companies working to install utility-scale solar farms and customer-sited solar arrays as well as their customers who are moving Hawaii toward a clean energy future -- all these partners really deserve the credit.
“As a utility, we continue to help customers take advantage of solar electricity through net energy metering, the feed-in tariff and standard interconnections. Even those who take the first step by installing solar water heating are part of a movement to use the direct power of the sun for sustainability,” Alm said.
“We congratulate the Hawaiian Electric companies and KIUC for again proving themselves among the solar power leaders in the electric utility industry,” said Julia Hamm, SEPA president & CEO. “Hawaiian Electric has developed creative business models and approaches that are appropriate for its environment and that bring the benefits of solar power to its operations, its customers and our society.”
Overall, the SEPA Utility Solar Rankings report found remarkable growth in the addition of new solar power by utilities in 2010, up 100 percent from the year before. It also found that utility solar power is rapidly expanding into states as diverse as Idaho, New Jersey and North Carolina.
“The trends are clear – utilities are offering their customers more solar power in almost every region of the country,” said Ms. Hamm. “With the leadership of organizations like the Hawaiian Electric companies, we expect those trends to continue.”
For its annual report, SEPA surveyed 230 investor-owned, municipal and cooperative electric utilities and ranked them in two categories: total amount of solar power added to their systems in 2010, and the amount of solar power added on a per-customer-served basis. The top three utilities in total amount added are Pacific Gas and Electric (CA), Florida Power & Light and Public Service Electric & Gas (NJ).
The top three in the amount added per-customer category are Silicon Valley Power (CA), Public Service Electric & Gas (NJ) and Hawaiian Electric.