Hawaiian Electric’s Battery Bonus program tops 30 percent capacity milestone

Published on January 04, 2023 by Chris Galford

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A Hawaiian Electric program that provided cash incentives and bill credits to customers with battery storage connected to their rooftop solar systems – the Battery Bonus program – officially reached 30 percent of its allotted capacity at the end of 2022.

The program, about a year and a half after its launch, had achieved a 15 MW capacity on Oahu, marking the end of Tier 1. Another 15 MW is the goal for Tier 2, which will continue enrolling customers on an ongoing basis, albeit at a lower cash payment rate. That rate dropped from payments of $850 per kW of installed battery capacity down to $750 per kW. A final tier will follow these, providing 20 MW of installed capacity and reaching for the 50 MW cap on Oahu, with $500 per kW incentives included. Separately, Maui is capped at 15 MW.

In all, the Battery Bonus program will last 10 years. Participants must use and/or export electricity stored in their batteries between 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., as specified by Hawaiian Electric. In return, they gain a one-time, upfront payment based on the size of their battery system and bill credits thereafter for electricity exported to the grid. Customers also gain a monthly peak capacity payment based on the size of their battery.

“It’s gratifying to see such a positive response to an innovative program like Battery Bonus that allows homeowners and businesses to enjoy the added benefits of energy storage while supporting the grid and Hawaii’s transition to a clean energy future,” Yoh Kawanami, Hawaiian Electric Customer Energy Resources co-director, said.

Applications for the Battery Bonus program will be accepted on Oahu through June 20, 2023, or until the cap is reached. While the shift between tiers of the program has impacted one-time payments, monthly export credits and the monthly peak capacity payment remain unaffected.

Separately, applications on Maui will continue through June 30, 2024, or until the cap is reached.