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Old 02-04-2012, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Berlin Germany
271 posts, read 478,180 times
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Have any state or private initiatives made solar progress on overall public access, to replace fossil fuels for energy ?
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Even Switzerland small towns are doing so.
Check it out: solar powered ski lift !
Tiny Swiss town builds the world's first solar-powered ski lift
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Old 02-04-2012, 01:55 PM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
10,961 posts, read 21,988,257 times
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Costco is selling big solar panels (200 watt?) about as fast as they can bring them in, although I'd suspect that most of them are being sold to folks who are installing them themselves. There are a lot of entirely off the electric grid areas of this island and folks get a big solar panel(s), a few deep cycle batteries, a charge controller, an inverter and run small households on them. Or just one solar panel, a battery and 12 VDC lights. Those systems wouldn't show up on the webpage referenced above.

There are also a lot of big systems showing up on the top of schools, businesses and houses in "on grid" areas. I'm starting to see some decorative wind generator systems, too. HPA had one on their Waimea campus but a big wind blew it down. Which was really unfortunate since that was one of the nicer looking wind generators. Real sculptural looking and it made power, how kewl is that!
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Old 02-04-2012, 05:15 PM
 
Location: Berlin Germany
271 posts, read 478,180 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotzcatz View Post
Costco is selling big solar panels (200 watt?) about as fast as they can bring them in, although I'd suspect that most of them are being sold to folks who are installing them themselves. There are a lot of entirely off the electric grid areas of this island and folks get a big solar panel(s), a few deep cycle batteries, a charge controller, an inverter and run small households on them. Or just one solar panel, a battery and 12 VDC lights. Those systems wouldn't show up on the webpage referenced above.

There are also a lot of big systems showing up on the top of schools, businesses and houses in "on grid" areas. I'm starting to see some decorative wind generator systems, too. HPA had one on their Waimea campus but a big wind blew it down. Which was really unfortunate since that was one of the nicer looking wind generators. Real sculptural looking and it made power, how kewl is that!

That is so wonderful ! I wish politicians running for president would speak and show those Americans that actually DO such things MORE, and stop with the smearing. Great people and common sense MAKE our nation, and should be encouraged to continue their practical actions. Go Hawaii !!
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Old 02-05-2012, 01:40 PM
 
Location: Hawaii-Puna District
3,753 posts, read 10,824,545 times
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Solar has an inherent problem for the electric company though. Since the sun doesn't always shine, the electric company must still maintain that excess capacity to account for those days when the clouds severely limit solar production. Some of Helco's generating plants run at near full capacity now, even though they aren't actually using the electricity due to the spooling up time it takes to get the generators (turbines) up to speed otherwise.
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Old 02-06-2012, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Berlin Germany
271 posts, read 478,180 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mdand3boys View Post
Solar has an inherent problem for the electric company though. Since the sun doesn't always shine, the electric company must still maintain that excess capacity to account for those days when the clouds severely limit solar production. Some of Helco's generating plants run at near full capacity now, even though they aren't actually using the electricity due to the spooling up time it takes to get the generators (turbines) up to speed otherwise.


My concern with solar has always been the effects of atmospheric interferences. Especially those from volcanic ash into the atmosphere. Recently in 2010 with Icelandic ash that stopped air travel was bad enough, but what happens when it is long term? One example is the year 1816 when Tambora in Indonesia had erupted, and cause a worldwide impact affecting crops and plant growth with mass starvations. Today we would have the air travel issues, solar power, and food. People wearing contacts really need to think about backup eyeglasses for contact lens, for many reasons, but air debris particles are a big one.
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Old 02-06-2012, 10:37 AM
 
Location: Kahala
11,654 posts, read 15,600,554 times
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Woke up to this lovely news that electric rates going up in Hawaii due to increased solar. More solar is good - but raising rates impacts the poor the most since many people with no money don't have money to install solar.

Hawaiian Electric to raise rates because of solar losses - Pacific Business News
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Old 02-06-2012, 11:21 AM
 
Location: Berlin Germany
271 posts, read 478,180 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whtviper1 View Post
Woke up to this lovely news that electric rates going up in Hawaii due to increased solar. More solar is good - but raising rates impacts the poor the most since many people with no money don't have money to install solar.

Hawaiian Electric to raise rates because of solar losses - Pacific Business News




Star Advertiser

By Alan Yonan Jr.

POSTED: 01:30 a.m. HST, Dec 19, 2011

Residential electric bills on Oahu hit a record high in December for the third consecutive month, continuing a trend that has prompted a growing number of homeowners to install rooftop photovoltaic systems to cut their soaring power bills.

The typical bill for a Hawaiian Electric Co. customer using 600 kilowatt hours of electricity a month rose to $219.03 in December, up $3.22 from November and about $60 from December 2010

So the rate as of December 19th was $ 0.365 per kwh.
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:01 PM
 
Location: Hilo
97 posts, read 264,611 times
Reputation: 101
Quote:
Originally Posted by whtviper1 View Post
Woke up to this lovely news that electric rates going up in Hawaii due to increased solar. More solar is good - but raising rates impacts the poor the most since many people with no money don't have money to install solar.

Hawaiian Electric to raise rates because of solar losses - Pacific Business News
Seems more like corporate greed than anything else. HE revenue was up 15.8% over last year, operating income was up 9.7% and net income was up 13.9%.
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:54 PM
 
941 posts, read 1,837,044 times
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I think BigIslandBum hit the nail on the head: HECO wants to maintain it's profit margins despite people generating their own electricity. As one of the comments on the PBN article says: grid-connected solar customers pay the monthly service fee that should cover the utility's fixed costs. And if they're not, or it doesn't, they should and not make others pay for the solar users--BUT they must be justifiable costs, not the lost profit for selling less electricity.
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Old 02-06-2012, 01:06 PM
 
941 posts, read 1,837,044 times
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Wow, typical usage is 600kWh on Oahu! Like I said in another thread, I think there is room for conservation there--that would be the best way to bring down your bill.

I use about 300-350 kWh per month for a household of 4 people and frequent guests. With our higher rates (about 40.4 cents per kWH, including all surcharges but not customer service fee), I still pay only about $120-150 per month.

Personally, I would be willing to pay higher electric rates if the utilities were buying renewable energy that cost them more. But that's not happening. I also realize the utility has more trouble producing efficiently because of all the point-producers (rooftop PV), that's the generator spool-up that mdand3boys was talking about. But that is the way of the future, and the utility needs to adapt for it.
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