Solar Surges, Sun-Fueled Energy Booms in Pioneer States
In Hawaii, where 12 percent of homes have solar panels, handling surplus power is putting pressure on the state’s biggest utility, which now wants to reduce what it pays for the energy. Electricity there is pricey, with monthly bills of $600 to $700 not uncommon. The growing popularity of making electricity at home puts new pressures on old infrastructure like circuits and power lines and cuts into electric company revenue. As a result, many utilities are reducing incentives and adding steep fees. “Hawaii is a postcard from the future,” says Adam Browning, executive director of Vote Solar, a policy and advocacy group based in California.