Distributed Energy Resource (DER) Policies

On September 24, 2019, the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission opened a proceeding to investigate the technical, economic, and policy issues associated with distributed energy resources (“DER”) and rate design, as they pertain to the Hawaiian Electric Companies. In doing so, the Commission observed that this proceeding would continue the work begun in Docket No. 2014-0192 and Docket No. 2015-0412 which investigated policies and programs for customer-sited DER and customer grid service offerings. The proceeding is divided into three tracks, covering programmatic issues, advanced rate design, and technical issues. PUC’s Order No. 37066 established the track scopes and a procedural schedule.

Upcoming Events

October 21, 2020: The PUC will host a Status Conference to discuss developments in the DER Program Track.

August 4, 2020: The PUC will host a Technical Conference to discuss the Companies’ Advanced Inverter (AI) workplan, the technical working group, and other technical track issues.

Beginning August 5, 2020: The PUC will host Working Group meetings in the Advanced Rate Design Track. The Working Group process is intended to “assist parties in delivering quality proposals through dialogue and information sharing, learning from outside experts, and collaboration on the development of ideas, leading to initial party proposals on December 17, 2020.

  • Working group meetings will be facilitated by Gridworks, and will occur every other Wednesday from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM Hawaii Standard Time beginning on August 5, 2020. Meetings will run through October 2020 and will be conducted via Zoom.
  • The link to attend the Working Group meetings will remain the same throughout the Working Group Process. Parties should use the following link to attend:
    https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84019168868

    Meeting ID: 840 1916 8868
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    Meeting ID: 840 1916 8868
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Program Track

The Commission identified the following broad objectives for the program track:

  1. Design and implement long term DER programs that consider how to simplify the manner in which grid service compensation is provided to customers, while ensuring that customers receive compensation for both energy exports and grid services; and
  2. Develop a transition plan for interim DER programs such that the coordination of said transition promotes market stability and minimizes customer confusion.

Advanced Rate Design Track

The Commission identified the following broad objectives for the advanced rate design track:

  1. Address challenges currently faced by low- and moderate-income (“LMI”) customers and create new opportunities to facilitate customer equity;
  2. Unbundle costs to facilitate a reasonable allocation of system costs among customers and to develop reasonable rates and charges;
  3. Evaluate benefits and drawbacks of specific rate design options, such as minimum bills, fixed charges, variable charges, etc.;
  4. Appropriately balance the objectives and properties for advanced rate designs discussed above;
  5. Establish advanced rate designs including time-of-use (“TOU”) rate options for residential and commercial customers;
  6. Develop pilot programs to evaluate other advanced rate design options (e.g., subscription rates, real time pricing, etc.); and
  7. Update electric vehicle (“EV”) rate structures (e.g., residential and commercial EV, EV-Bus, Fast EV charging) to incorporate lessons learned and to improve the effectiveness of the rate options.

Technical Track

The Commission identified the following broad objectives for the technical track:

  1. Streamline and improve the interconnection process;
  2. Harmonize the Company’s Rule 14H requirements with current Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (“IEEE”) standards;
  3. Develop policies and procedures for the activation of additional advanced inverter functions; and
  4. Develop policies and procedures to update legacy equipment, including inverters, to allow for participation in new DER programs.