SolarCity Together with Hawaiin Electric Look to Advance Distributed Solar

CIOReview Team | Friday, 29 May 2015, 09:52 IST

FREMONT, CA: In order to address the operational issues in the distributed solar penetration on electrical grids, Solar City has entered into a cooperative research agreement with National Renewable Energy Laboratory – a division of the Energy Department which will look to explore opportunities in greater adoption of solar.

According to the agreement, Solar City will collaborate with the Hawaiian Electric Companies which will see implementation of advanced modeling and inverter testing at the Energy Systems Integrations Facility (ESIF). The intent is to analyze high penetration solar scenarios.  

Testing at ESIF will cover the dynamic of inverter-based assets on areas such as a grid system, voltage regulation, and bi-directional power flows.

Solar is a valuable resource that needs to be leveraged for maximum benefits. To that end, the institutions pertaining to the utility sector such as solar industry and NREL are coming together to build stronger solutions for the challenges in this field.

“We know how important the option of solar is for our customers. Solving these issues requires that everyone - utilities, the solar industry and other leading technical experts like NREL - work together. That’s what this work is all about,” said Colton Ching, Hawaiian Electric vice president for energy delivery. “With the highest amount of solar in the nation, our utilities are facing potential reliability and safety issues before anywhere else.”

Hawaiian Electric will contribute to the analyses by providing technical input on testing and setup throughout the process as well as feedback on results. Driven by the promising initial results of the tests, Hawaiian Electric is planning to approve interconnection of customers’ rooftop solar systems in their neighborhoods with high amounts of solar ready installed.

“We’re pleased that Hawaiian Electric agreed to partner on these important tests and commend them for taking early test results and instituting policy changes that will help Hawai’i’s solar industry.Our collaboration has been fruitful and we look forward to continuing our work together,” said Jon Yoshimura, SolarCity’s Director of Policy and Electricity Markets.