HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

2

TWENTY-EIGHTH LEGISLATURE, 2015

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

relating to Electricity generation.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that there are over forty thousand photovoltaic electricity generating systems installed within the State, providing a total generating capacity of over three hundred megawatts of electricity. These systems have reduced the State's reliance on fossil fuels, created jobs, established Hawaii as a leader in clean energy, and advanced the State's goal of generating seventy per cent of its energy from renewable sources by the year 2030.

The legislature also finds that, in September 2013, an electric utility company in the State changed its internal rules to require company approval before connecting a photovoltaic system to the electric grid. As a result, as many as four thousand five hundred photovoltaic systems currently await approval for connection to the grid. This rule change has decreased the number of annual photovoltaic installations by eighty per cent and has effectively prevented thousands of households from using clean energy to power their homes. In addition, many customers received loans to fund the installation of a photovoltaic system, but they have yet to receive electric utility approval to connect their system to the electric grid. These customers are now faced with the unaffordable burden of both their monthly electricity bill and loan payments. The electric utilities claim that the approval process takes time because each photovoltaic system feeds electricity to the electric grid and can reduce grid stability. However, electric utilities also are delaying the approval of systems that do not feed electricity into the grid, such as those with battery storage.

The purpose of this Act is to expedite the approval process for photovoltaic and other consumer electricity generation systems that do not feed electricity into the electric grid.

SECTION 2. Chapter 269, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to part VI to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"269-    Non-export system; permit application; automatic approval. (a) An electric utility shall approve, approve with modification, or disapprove all non-export system permit applications within thirty days of submission of a complete non-export system permit application and full payment of any applicable fee. If, on the thirty-first day, a non-export system permit application is not approved, approved with modification, or disapproved by the electric utility, the non-export system permit application shall be deemed approved by the electric utility.

(b) As used in this section, "non-export system" means an eligible customer-generator that does not feed electricity to the electric grid. An eligible customer-generator that occasionally and without compensation feeds electricity to the electric grid for two thousand milliseconds or less for safety purposes shall not be excluded from the definition of non-export system."

SECTION 3. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 4. This Act shall take effect upon its approval and shall apply to all non-export system permit applications submitted to an electric utility after July 1, 2015.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

Renewable Energy; Non-export System; Net Energy Metering; Electric Utilities

 

Description:

Requires that all applications for solar, wind, or similar electrical generation devices that do not feed electricity to the electric grid be automatically approved by an electric utility within 30 days.

 

 

 

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