magine the energy of the tropical sun harnessed to energize your home. That's the reality of solar power Hawaii style, where the endless sunshine becomes a renewable, clean source of electricity. The adoption of solar energy in Hawaii has been gathering pace and has started to reshape the Hawaiian energy landscape. The state's remarkable sunshine (averaging 240 sunny days per year, as opposed to the US average of 205 sunny days) makes it easy to comprehend why.
Why Solar Power is the Next Big Thing in Hawaii
Today, an impressive 17.21% of the state's electricity is provided by solar photovoltaic (PV) energy. A big driver of this shift has been the financial incentives available for PV systems. These incentives, coupled with the state’s high electricity rates, make photovoltaics an increasingly attractive option. Additionally, by tapping into the sun’s potential, homeowners can gain more independence from the grid, reducing their reliance on traditional power sources.
Sure, there are hurdles to overcome, such as interconnection issues, because HI utilities put limits to avoid system overloads from PV generators. But, these roadblocks are not dampening the growing enthusiasm towards clean power.
Breakdown of Costs Involved
While solar offers compelling benefits, it's essential to understand the costs involved. The upfront costs can seem significant, but remember that the return on investment can be impressive over time, particularly in light of the incentives offered. Installation costs include the purchase of photovoltaic panels, inverter, and balance of system components, not forgetting the cost of labor.
With an average cost of $2.67 per watt, Aloha State’s PV systems are cheaper than the national average. Due to their lower electricity usage compared to other states, Hawaiians typically require a system size of 5.5 kW, resulting in an approximate installation cost of $14,700.
Ongoing costs include maintenance and, potentially, the cost of a battery storage system if you opt for one. Remember that PV systems require very little maintenance, typically just an annual cleaning. A good installer can provide you with an accurate estimate of both upfront and ongoing expenses.
Initially, the installation cost can seem steep. However, solar can pay for itself over time through savings in electricity bills. Moreover, the government offers substantial financial incentives to encourage homeowners to make the switch, further reducing the net cost. For example, with the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), homeowners who install photovoltaics can claim a tax credit for 30% of the installation costs. Plus, there are various other local incentives offered by Hawaiian Electric Co. (HECO). Check their website, hawaiianelectric com, to find out what's currently available.
Ground mount solar: Efficient renewable energy solution utilizing land for solar panel installation, ideal for large-scale power generation.
Spotlight on Excellence: The Best Installers Around
First on our list is Independent Energy, Inc., a Honolulu based company with a reputation for quality and great customer service. Their well-trained technicians ensure excellent service and help you explore incentives and rebates in your area. They primarily use REC modules, known for their tier-one monocrystalline technology.
Moving on to Malama, a family-owned company known for its diverse product offerings and outstanding customer service. They install SolarEdge, Panasonic, and QCells modules, all backed by a 25-year equipment and efficiency warranty, along with a 10-year workmanship warranty.
With more than 30 years of local experience, Rising Sun is a seasoned provider in Aloha State. The company offers competitive prices and a thorough understanding of the electic energy requirements of HI residents. However, it's worth noting that their workmanship warranty lasts only five years.