Hawaii homeowners and businesses installed a record amount of solar power generating capacity in the second quarter of this year, according to a new industry report.
Hawaii added 16.6 megawatts of solar generating capacity during the April-to-June period, a 12 percent increase from 14.8 megawatts in the previous quarter, according to the report produced by the Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research.
The report noted that there is a growing trend in Hawaii and elsewhere in which homeowners are opting to have solar systems installed with no upfront cost. Under the most popular arrangements, a third party owns the system and either leases it back to the homeowner or sells the electricity to the homeowner. In both cases, the homeowner pays the third party less than the rates charged by the local electric utility.
The third party usually raises the financing from investors, who are attracted to the tax benefits and steady stream of income that come from owning a stake in the solar systems. The financing vehicle has attracted more than $600 million in new investments in recent months, according to the report… Read more