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PVC needs to get creative

March 21, 2013
Bill Roberts - Renton, Washington , The Maui Weekly

It is refreshing to see the growth in wind and solar energy usage between my visits to Maui. The Public Utilities Commission needs to get creative to address the challenges brought on by the growth in PV for Maui and the other islands.

The first recommended change would be for MECO to base electric bills on two components--capacity and usage. The capacity charge would pay for the infrastructure needed to have firm capacity standing by and transfer electricity to and from all users based on their highest expected demand or supply from PVs.

Leaving the electric grid is within reach for many electricity users. Homes with only lighting and refrigeration loads, and light to moderate TV and computer usage could set up their own PV and storage battery systems and sever ties with--and bills from MECO.

Standby capacity for extended grey periods would have to be an owned generator, but a small generator works well for occasional use. I depend on a 5KW generator for roughly a week every winter when weather takes the grid down in my area.

Contact me at and

Bill Roberts

Renton, Washington



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