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Posted: Friday, January 31st, 2014 1:02 PM HST

Hawaiian Electric to update solar panel guidelines

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) Hawaiian Electric is preparing to issue new guidelines for installing residential solar systems in an effort to accommodate the high demand for electricity powered by the sun.

The utility's new guidelines will allow more photovoltaic systems to be installed in Oahu neighborhoods already heavily populated with solar panels.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports the new guidelines will update interconnection rules put in place last fall.

Solar energy industry officials have criticized the old guidelines as being unnecessarily restrictive and leading to a sharp slowdown in photovoltaic panel installations.

Hawaiian Electric energy resources Vice President Scott Seu says the revised rules are an attempt by the utility to open up the grid without compromising safety or reliability.

He declined to discuss specifics of the new guidelines until they're officially released.

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