- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 19, 2017

HONOLULU (AP) - Hawaii officials say they are seeing a decrease in the number of solar permits that are being issued in some counties.

Maui County saw a 71 percent decrease in the number of permits issued for rooftop solar systems, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported (https://bit.ly/2pRkGeN). Only 155 permits were issued during the first quarter of 2017. By this time last year, 540 permits had been issued.

“The solar PV carnage is being acutely felt on the Valley Isle,” said Marco Mangelsdorf, who compiles the rooftop solar permit data and is president of Hilobased ProVision Solar.

Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism officials say that in Oahu, residential rooftop solar system permits had a 62 percent decrease this quarter compared to the first quarter of 2016.

Officials say the number of photovoltaic systems that were issued permits has also dropped by 19 percent.

The decrease comes after state regulators ended a solar incentive program called net energy metering that credited customers the full retail rate for excess energy in the solar energy systems sent the grid, in October 2015. The grid-supply program also came to halt after it reached its cap.

The Hawaii legislature is working on two bills that would establish incentives for customers who buy energy storage systems.

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Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, https://www.staradvertiser.com

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