Hawaii’s solar power flare-up: Too much of a good thing?

Nov 19, 2012 by

latimes.com

So many private solar panels are returning power to the grid that utilities fear their systems can’t handle it all.

November 17, 2012|By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times
  • Darren Kimura, chief executive of Sopogy, shows how his technology uses the Big Island's abundant sunshine to return electricity to the power grid. Solar power is now so popular that Hawaii's utilities worry about damage from excess electricity pumped back into their systems.

    Darren Kimura, chief executive of Sopogy, shows how his technology uses… (Alana Semuels / Los Angeles…)

 

WAILUKU, Hawaii — On an island whose stock in trade is sun, and lots of it, Lawrence and Cindy Lee figured they’d be foolish not to join their neighbors and put a few solar panels on the roof.

The Lees called one of the solar contractors racing around Hawaii these days, and put in their order. Eleven months later, in October — after endless consultations, emails and a $3,000 study required by Maui Electric Co. — they were still waiting for a permit.

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