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Hawaii Pushes Utilities Forward on Solar Energy

The New York Times looks at recent developments in Hawaii, which it says is "at the forefront of a global upheaval in the power business."  

"In Hawaii, the current battle began in 2013, when Hawaiian Electric started barring installations of residential solar systems in certain areas. It was an abrupt move — a panicked one, critics say — made after the utility became alarmed by the technical and financial challenges of all those homes suddenly making their own electricity."  

"The utility wants to cut roughly in half the amount it pays customers for solar electricity they send back to the grid. But after a study showed that with some upgrades the system could handle much more solar than the company had assumed, the state’s public utilities commission ordered the utility to begin installations or prove why it could not. It was but one sign of the agency’s growing impatience with what it considers the utility’s failure to adapt its business model to the changing market."