Enphase clears Hawaiian Electric's solar interconnection backlog

Enphase Energy – a U.S.-headquartered provider of microinverters – has cleared the backlog of solar customers awaiting interconnection on the Hawaiian island of Oahu.

Working in collaboration with local utility Hawaiian Electric Company, Enphase has hit its target of clearing 90% of the backlog by April – a commitment made to Hawaiian Electric last October.

To achieve this goal, the microinverter specialists conducted a detailed analysis of grid conditions of every neighborhood on the island, using data from the 25,000 Enphase systems already installed to develop a statistically rich heat map used to support initial technical reviews by Hawaiian Electric’s engineers.

The Enphase microinverter system is able to report high-granularity voltage and frequency data, which can be harvested to deliver detailed readings of grid instability. With control of more than 70% of the island’s PV systems, Enphase’s data proved pivotal in enabling Hawaiian Electric to release approximately 4,000 PV systems of solar interconnections – a figure that amounted to 20 MW of additional solar PV.

Paul Nahi, Enphase CEO, remarked that by leveraging the company’s smart microinveters and data communications technology, Hawaiian Electric was able to clear the interconnection queue to achieve higher levels of solar penetration.

"Our collaboration shows that solar technology companies and utilities can and must work together to the benefit of ratepayers while making the large-scale grid integration of solar a reality," said Nahi.

Hawaiian Electric senior VP of customer service, Jim Alberts, added: "By working with industry partners like Enphase, we are pioneering technical solutions to integrate record levels of solar energy."

"With the backlog gone," said Enphase VP of products and strategic initiatives Raghu Belur, "the solar community on Oahu can now get back to what it does best – installing rooftop solar and helping customers save on their energy bills."

Enphase enjoyed an earlier landmark success in Hawaii in February this year when the company successfully upgraded the operating behavior of its 25,000 installed microinverters remotely – a feat that also brought greater stability to the grid.