CSS Vs. CGS: A Guide To Solar Energy In Hawaii


Hawaii is a Solar Power House

Hello there, and welcome back to our blog! Here at Sunetric, we believe that solar power is the solution to many of the world’s issues. As our population size increases, the demands for energy are only going to increase and, unfortunately, traditional means of energy production are just not going to be able to keep up. With this in mind, it makes sense that an increasing number of people want to see a viable form of alternative energy production developed, implemented, and used across the country. In our previous post, we covered NEM and DER, the two programs developed to help bring Hawaii into the age of solar. These programs set the guidelines necessary to make sure that the production of solar energy was not only beneficial for residents from a monetary standpoint but to also make sure that the amount of excess energy that is produced during the day does not overload the electrical grids of the islands. In today’s post, we are going to focus on the DER program and the steps that have been taken to make sure that Hawaii is producing solar energy efficiently and safely. Continue reading below to learn more.

Limiting Power for a Better Future

As we mentioned in our previous post, after years of offering residents net energy metering, NEM for short, Hawaii realized that their initial model of solar energy reimbursement and energy collection was not sustainable. As more and more people installed solar panels on their homes, the amount of energy production was too much for the grid system to handle. Rather than waste all this energy, the distributed energy resources, DER for short, program was developed in order to place a cap on how much residential solar could be built. Under this program, two additional programs were created that placed limits on certain types of solar arrays that were installed on people’s homes. Customer grid supply (CGS) arrays, those able to feed excess energy back into the electrical grid, had a cap placed on them in order to make sure that the electrical grids of the islands were not overburdened by thousands of homes attempting to feed excess energy back into the system. On the other side, customer self supply (CSS) arrays had no such cap placed on them because, unlike CGS arrays, they do not feed electricity back into the grid.

Where Does The Power From A CSS Array Go?

With no cap placed on CSS solar systems, more people began to install arrays that did not feed energy back into the electrical grid. However, if the excess energy is not being fed back into the grid system, where is the power going? The answer to this question is actually quite simple: Batteries. Because CSS arrays needed a power storage solution, solar companies soon understood that it was necessary to provide batteries to homeowners and, under the current CSS program, it is required that a person have a home battery installed before they are allowed by the state to have a solar array installed on their home. While this does add an additional cost to going solar in Hawaii, the battery requirement is also ushering in a new era of energy independence for the islands. As battery installations increase, fewer people are dependent on the energy that is imported from the mainland. This is not just a good thing for Hawaii, reducing the amount of money that must be spent each year on imported energy, it is also a good thing for the rest of the United States. As battery installations in Hawaii work to spur the battery market, mainland Americans may also begin to see just how valuable having a battery in their home that collects solar energy during the day to be used at night can be.

How To Make the Switch to Solar

If you are interested in making the switch to solar energy in Hawaii, get in touch with us today at Sunetric by visiting our website or giving us a call. Since 1978 we have been offering solar arrays to homes and businesses and, through our years of experience, we have refined our techniques in order to provide the best solar services possible. Our solar installation services include everything that you need to make the switch to solar including the PV system to collect the energy and a range of Blue Ion solar batteries to store the energy that is produced so that it can be used at a later time. Blue Ion batteries combine Sony’s Fortelion© battery technology with Blue Planet Energy’s proprietary architecture and software to provide a battery system that is easy quick and easy to install, allowing homes to operate off of the main electric grid. Contact us today and let us show you how easy the switch to solar can be!