Hawaiian Electric launches Battery Bonus scheme’s 10-year program.

Utility Hawaiian Electric has launched a 10-year programme of credits and incentives to its Battery Bonus scheme, which was launched last year as a one-time cash incentive for adding battery storage to residential PV systems. It launched the scheme last year on O’ahu, the third-largest island in the archipelago where the capital Honolulu is located. It has three tranches comprising a 50MW total cap, paying customers US$850/kW for those accepted for the first 15MW down to US$500/kW for the last 20MW.

Figures presented in a quarterly update meeting about the Battery Bonus scheme, posted on Youtube by Hawaiian Electric, indicated uptake was nearly 1MW by September 2021 with a total of 334 applications received. The 10-year programme is effective 1 June this year and features several new credits and incentives. The first is a fixed monthly export credit for Battery Bonus participants who are not part of Hawaiian Electric’s Net Energy Metering program.

It will be equivalent to the respective retail rate for exporting energy during a two-hour period of the evening peak and will be available for three years. The Battery Bonus scheme requires customers to use and/or export the battery’s electricity for a two-hour period between 6 pm and 8.30 pm. A new US$5/kW monthly peak capacity payment over the 10-year programme is also being introduced, while the 5kW-per-customer size limit for solar systems is being scrapped (as long as the additional solar is not more than twice the size of the battery – no battery size limit exists).

These two latter incentives do not affect customers’ participation in existing programs like Net Energy Metering or Customer Grid Supply. Hawaiian Electric is also pushing for grid-scale solar PV to be paired with storage in nearly all cases. It will soon launch an ‘all source’ renewable energy procurement which will stipulate that all solar PV farms need a four-hour storage system while it will be optional for wind applications.

Other US states to have launched incentives for homeowners to buy residential battery storage systems include Connecticut and California.

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