SolarWorld Brings Solar Financing For US-Made Solar Panels To Hawaii

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This will be refreshing to many: SolarWorld, a company that is well known for producing solar modules, is now providing Hawaii with the option to enjoy its solar financing packages, and with the guarantee that the solar panels they get on their roofs will receive American-made solar panels!

This service, offered exclusively through Inter-Island Solar Supply, could be helpful to Hawaii, which has high electricity prices and abundant sunshine.


According to Business Green, SolarWorld provides complete photovoltaic systems with monitoring, installation, insurance, and maintenance for up to 20 years, through its network of installers.

Like SolarCity and Solar Universe, it provides solar panels with financing options to reduce the initial purchase costs (such as zero-down financing options, low down payments, and prepayment), so that you can offset a fraction of your monthly bill with solar panels and pay a lower monthly fee for electricity instead. This is done under the SolarWorld Freedom ™ Plan.

“We are excited to partner with SolarWorld to bring the Freedom Plan financing program to the Hawaii’s homeowners,” said Ron Richmond, manager of business development for Inter-Island Solar Supply. “The Freedom Plan enables Hawaii families to reduce their electric bills by removing the high cost of purchasing a PV system.”

The Freedom Plan is now available in the states of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. It is to be expanded to additional American markets, such as Arizona and New York, in the coming months.

If interested, you can make inquiries through their website.

SolarWorld appears to welcome third parties to join their network of solar panel installers. If you would like to register to become a SolarWorld installer, you can do so on its website.

Follow @Kompulsa on Twitter.

Image Credit: Alternate Energy Hawaii.

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Nicholas Brown

Has a keen interest in physics-intensive topics such as electricity generation, refrigeration and air conditioning technology, energy storage, and geography. His website is:

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30 thoughts on “SolarWorld Brings Solar Financing For US-Made Solar Panels To Hawaii

    • note that going 100 % renewable energy means that gas mobiles must be banned in favor of electric vehicles or fuel must be done synthetically using wind+solar energy. Also, people and industry does require electricity 24 hours per day, so there must be significant investments on energy storage, that is not cheap at all.

      Anyway, I would presume that Hawaii can go 100 % renewables in 2040, but this is because I assume that the price of solar panels is getting down 96% and price of batteries is gettin down 80 %. This prediction does require significan technological breakthroughs and is therefore uncertain.

      • Pump-up storage is about 6c/kWh, vanadium flow batteries 8c and EOS System zinc-air batteries claim 10c.

        50% wind at 6c, 30% solar at 10c, and 20% stored wind at 12c to 16c is cheaper than generating with diesel.

        (It works out to <10c/kWh.)

        • Note that all pump-up storage capacity is already used. And rest that remains is banned because it threatens nature conservation sites. In general hydroelectricity is the one of the worst energy generation methods on environmental stand point as dams destroy whole river ecosystems.

          Note that currently battery storage costs about 20–30 cents per kWh. Those what you are referring are mere prototypes and typically it takes at least 10 years to get from prototypes to production. Although most often the scale up is not even feasible at all. Start-up companies just like to make fancy theoretical projections for the investors.

          If you plan to produce 50 % or more wind, about 30–40 % of wind energy must be stored. E.g. if Denmark aims for 50 % wind in 2020, then it means that Danish need to instal 7–8 GW wind power although their electricity demand is only 3–4 GW. This is feasible because of the vast hydroelectricity reserves in Norway.

          • Well, we’re freeing some up as we close nuclear plants.

            And your claim that more is banned is bogus. We have 80,000 existing dams in the US. We are using about 2,500 for electricity generation. Based on an assessment of existing dams on federal lands somewhere around 10% of those 77,500 non-utilized dams should have adequate head and be close enough to transmission lines for pump-up storage use.

            Additionally we can build closed-loop hydro storage. Plans are in the works for a few systems right now. Germany is working on closed loop in abandoned mines. Canada is working on installing closed loop in an abandoned rock quarry. We have one in development in the Tehachapi Mountains and in Utah.

            Vanadium flow batteries are already on the grid and storing for 8c/kWh. EOS System zinc-air batteries are going on multiple grids over the next months with an expected cost of 10c/kWh.

            “If you plan to produce 50% or more wind, about 30–40 % of wind energy must be stored.”

            That makes no sense. You’re missing how many hours per day the wind blows, the way wind generation is spread out over time. A high percentage of both wind and solar will be used directly as produced.

          • I derived my argument on pumped storage from the case of Finland and Germany, where most of the natural pumped storage capacity is already used.

            According Wikipedia, Vanadium flow batteries are reasonable. (sensible cycle efficiency and cycle life) But Wikipedia does not evaluate the overall economics. Vanadium flow batteries seem to be quite old technology and yet, there is very few demonstration sites, although your 8 cents price should be superbly competitive as it is almost cheaper than pumped hydro. Currently Germany is installing lithium battery storage plants with price 20 cent.


            I personally highly doubt that EOS can deliver commercially viable plant within the next 5 or 10 years. But of course I do not back this up anything more than personal cynicism about start-up companies.

          • Japan and the US have the most pump-up per country. “The EUhad 38.3 GW net capacity (36.8% of world capacity) out of a total of 140 GW
            of hydropower and representing 5% of total net electrical capacity in the EU. Japan had 25.5 GW net capacity (24.5% of world capacity).[9]” – Wiki

            Lithium batteries are getting installed in many countries. But mainly for grid smoothing and firming, not for storage.

            EOS has already contracted to put their batteries on multiple grids, including the NYC/ConEd grid. Another company, ViZn, is in manufacturing with a zinc-air battery and taking contracts for delivery.

            Both companies are claiming $160/kWh. And 10,000 cycle life. That works out to $0.016/kWh for the battery.

            Ambri has been testing prototypes of their liquid metal batteries for some time and have stated that they will begin manufacturing in 2014. They are currently hiring production staff. Their battery should be even cheaper than zinc-air batteries.

      • Jouni, here in Australia it is quite possible to pay 28 cents a kilowatt-hour for electricity from the grid but only receive 8 cents a kilowatt-hour for contributing electricity from rooftop solar to the grid. This means that once home energy storage costs less than 20 cents a kilowatt-hour households with rooftop solar can save money by installing it. As more than one type of home energy storage has fallen below 20 cents a kilowatt-hour, a lot of it is going to be installed in Australia. Slowly at first, but with increasing speed as people see their neighbours saving money. Depending on what feed in tariffs are like in Hawaii in the future the same thing may happen there. With Australian style feed in tariffs there will be no need for a drop in the cost of home storage in order for it to be taken up on a large scale.

        • I agree that Australia will be the leader in solar energy and will very soon take the leader mantle from Germany. The conditions are just ideal. High retail prices and lots of sunshine!

          Australians just need to instal solar panels so that they are directed into East and West, so that they can substitute as much grid electricity as possible without need for storage.

          • Yes, we need west facing panels most of all. Fortunately more of them get installed everyday. But I don’t think we’ll pull ahead of Germany any time soon. In fact, Japan looks like it might pull ahead of Australia on solar capacity per person before long. But we’ll see what happens.

      • Brazil has 100% penetration of E100 (all ethanol from sugar cane – no gasoline) in their transportation system now. General motors makes cars in Brazil designed with high compression engines that only burn E100. As a matter of fact the air quality in Brazilian high traffic cities is better than any other high traffic cities in the world now because they use E100.
        No new technologies or breakthroughs are needed (even though they will come eventually). All that is needed is a prudent mix of renewable energy technologies now available.

        It’s over for fossil fuels.

        • It would be better if Brazil move at least some of their cars to EVs. They’ve cut down a lot of rainforest to grow cane.

          But if they’re mostly off petroleum I’m not going to heavily criticize them. There are other countries doing far worse….

        • Sugar cane is not that un-fossil, because there is needed lots of oil for fertilizers and harvesting and transportation and ethanol production. It is not as bad as US corn for ethanol farming, where the fossil fuel balance is negative, but approximately 50–75 % of energy is wasted during the ethanol production.

          As Bob said below, sugar cane farming threatens rain forests. Although ethanol sugar is mostly produced on grass lands, it drives other agriculture — especially cattle ranching — into rain forested area. Therefore indirectly contributes deforestation. However Brazil sugar cane is not that bad as Indonesian palm oil production.

          So I would not call E100 as renewable energy source.

          • You are merely mouthing myths about sugar cane. NO, they don’t use pesticides made from fossil fuels like corn does. They DO NOT apply pesticides to sugar cane. Secondly, the farm machinery runs on E100, for your information, no fossil fuels and NO, they don’t use petroleum based chemical fertilizers for sugar cane in Brazil.

            If you want the truth, go here. Otherwise, keep wallowing in your negative fantasies about ethanol.

            Myth #1: It Takes More Energy to ­Produce Ethanol than You Get from It!

            Most ethanol research over the past 25 years has been on the topic of energy returned on energy invested (EROEI). Public discussion has been dominated by the American Petroleum Institute’s aggressive distribution of the work of Cornell professor David Pimentel and his numerous, deeply flawed studies. Pimentel stands virtually alone in portraying alcohol as having a negative EROEI—producing less energy than is used in its production.

            In fact, it’s oil that has a negative EROEI. Because oil is both the raw material and the energy source for production of gasoline, it comes out to about 20% negative. That’s just common sense; some of the oil is itself used up in the process of refining and delivering it (from the Persian Gulf, a distance of 11,000 miles in tanker travel).

            The most exhaustive study on ethanol’s EROEI, by Isaias de Carvalho Macedo, shows an alcohol energy return of more than eight units of output for every unit of input—and this study accounts for everything right down to smelting the ore to make the steel for tractors.

            But perhaps more important than EROEI is the energy return on fossil fuel input. Using this criterion, the energy returned from alcohol fuel per fossil energy input is much higher. In a system that supplies almost all of its energy from biomass, the ratio of return could be positive by hundreds to one.

            Five more myths busted here:


            Ethanol is, of course, not the whole solution, but it is a renewable, non-polluting energy source regardless of what you naysayers claim. You have a right to your opinion but you have no right to invent facts.
            Fossil fuels pollute!

          • You forgot that they do take up fertile grass land area and this in turn pushes other agriculture and cattle ranching into rainforested area. Deforestation in Brazil is still not in control.

            Also sugar cane is the only biofuel that gets into 50 % efficiency and this option is not available almost anywhere else than in Brazil.

            The problem is that we need FOOD more than ethanol. All fertile cultivation area should be reserved for food production. If we were to grow our fuel, we would need about ten planet Earths more.

          • As the need for food rises the cost of food will rise and that will move more land from fuel to food production.

            Additionally, we are close to adequate range, affordable EVs and sugar cane ethanol cannot compete with wind or solar produced electricity.

            We’re in the early stages of an immense transition in how humans power their lives. Since our days in caves and on the savannah we’ve depended on fire. We’re now inventing our way away from fire.

          • Vertical farming is an interesting idea for some crops. Not so great for wheat, sugar beets, corn, and other crops.

            I suspect we’ll see more vertical farming happening in and around cities, producing mostly salad produce.

            I’ve done a bit of vertical gardening and one can produce more from limited real estate. But the infrastructure cost is not cheap and would make it hard to compete with open field cropping most of the time.

          • yes, only problem is that with current electricity prices vertical farming cannot make difference. But when electricity price gets below 10 dollars per MWh — approximately one tenth of current retail prices — it is starting to make sense. Also vertical farms could use excess power that is produced by wind and solar, therefore it could be feasible far sooner.

          • There’s a “racking” cost involved in vertical farming.

            It’s not the cost of pumping water to the upper tier and letting it flow down through the system.

          • No, I didn’t forget and you obviously did not go to the link I gave that covered that ‘food versus fuel’ myth.

            And by the way, when the duckweed refineries get rolling across the world, try to remember that duckweed ponds are placed over non-arable land.

            Stop pushing disinformation.</img.

      • You don’t have to ban something that you want to get rid of. Just make the alternative more attractive.

        Significant electrification of the transportation system will provide battery storage of the kind you suggest is needed at night, with less additional investment in standalone storage.

      • Hawaii sits on volcanos….geothermal can be used for base load power.

  • Gasoline is a product that’s price is influenced by events that Hawaiians have little to no control over. The price of gasoline is directed connected to the utility rate on the islands. I have read that Hawaii’s grid operator’s are having issues (they could just be making it up as well) with bringing new renewable energy onto the grid. Hawaii’s utilities need to upgrade their grid to facilitate growth of more renewable energy on the islands because renewable energy has already reached grid parity there. Hawaii could also create a plan to facilitate the expansion of electric vehicles (EVs) onto their grid. One of the perks to owning an EV is that you typically pay less to charge your car versus fueling it up, but in Hawaii the cost of charging your vehicle is directly connected to the price you pay at the pump. Thus you pay similar prices to fuel/charge your vehicle and your car is running on burnt gasoline with some renewables helping clean it up. I believe that if the islands were to set some type of incentive for EVs that it would really help green the islands by helping the expansion of renewable energy onto the grid by putting more batteries on the grid. It would help bring utility rates down due to more renewable energy being on their grid (renewable energy is cheaper in Hawaii than fossil fuels). Hawaii would spend less on gasoline and keep more money in Hawaii’s microeconomy by using more renewable energy for generation and less fossil fuels in transportation. Hawaii will be the first place in the United States to be 100% renewable, but quickly do they want to get there?

    • How could I forget one of the best outcomes of more renewable energy on Hawaii’s grid?! Cleaner and cheaper electricity! GET IT DONE HAWAII!


        • No all caps, please.

    • It’s hard to imagine a more perfect place for EVs than Hawaii. There’s just a not of long distance driving that one can do. Hawaii is blessed with lots of wind and solar.

      Hawaii needs to install a lot of places to plug in where people park during the day and then let people put panels on their roofs. With Hawaii’s sunshine and gas prices the payoff for a solar system would be rapid.

    • One interesting thing I notice the last time I was there(2012) is that gasoline was only about 25% more expensive, but electricity was around 4 times as expensive(based on Florida prices) in Maui. Have no idea why that is the case since all the gas and most of the fuel for the generators is shipped in.

      • Because diesel is an absurdly expensive way to generate electricity?

Comments are closed.