HECO Solar Problems Send Schools Scrambling To Pay Electric Bills

Courtesy of Pineapple Tweed Public Relations

The Hawaii Department of Education says it will need another $10.6 million to pay for utilities next year, a situation district officials blame on Hawaiian Electric Co.'s problems hooking up new solar.

HECO's holdups connecting photovoltaic panels to the grid are causing delays in the DOE's ambitious plan to have solar on every school in the district. And the problems also mean that Oahu schools haven’t been able to enjoy the energy savings that DOE finance officers had anticipated when developing the department’s two-year budget last year.

“It’s a technical issue — it’s not malfeasance or anybody dropping the ball,” said Ray L’Heureux, assistant superintendent for facilities, at a Board of Education meeting earlier this month. L’Heureux said the department is working with HECO to come up with a solution.

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