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Letters: Selling solar

November 21, 2012
  • Darren Kimura, chief executive of Sopogy, shows how his technology uses the Big Island's abundant sunshine to return electricity to the power grid. Solar power is now so popular that Hawaii's utilities worry about damage from excess electricity pumped back into their systems.
Darren Kimura, chief executive of Sopogy, shows how his technology uses… (Alana Semuels / Los Angeles…)

Re "Hawaii's solar power flare-up," Nov. 18

The article doesn't question Hawaiian Electric Co.'s argument that power fluctuations due to clouds over rooftop solar systems are threatening the grid.

Even on small islands like Oahu and Maui, the rooftops generating power are distributed geographically over a much wider area than individual clouds are. The resulting electricity fluctuations are partially averaged out and aren't unlike fluctuations resulting from air conditioners turning on and off.

Did it occur to The Times that the Hawaiian power company is facing a no-growth market and therefore has a strong incentive to discourage rooftop solar? This is similar to California, where big solar installations are encouraged (threatening our deserts and endangered species) while rooftop solar is less so.

Cris Jones



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