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Sunrun Brightbox in Hawaii: O’ahu Grid Services, Solar Home Batteries, and Kukui Hele Pō

Updated: Jan 28


Sunrun Brightbox Solar Battery Storage in Hawaii: O’ahu Grid Services, Solar Home Batteries, and Kukui Hele Pō 

Introduction:


At Alchemy Solar, our priority is always to provide the best solution for customers. Hawai'i's aging utility grid and high solar density have presented some challenges and unique opportunities for homeowners interested in solar and home batteries on O'ahu.


Via our partnership with Sunrun, Alchemy Solar can offer customers access to the Kukui Hele Po Program, one of the nation's first grid services programs. What that means is that homeowners not only can confront the fact that electricity rates are rising but they are compensated for helping to improve and strengthen the grid for their neighbors and community. 


Sunrun developed the program with OATI and Hawaiian Electric to support the utility grid when help is needed. Sunrun can monitor energy in a home solar panel and battery storage system, exporting it to the grid to stabilize it when demand or strain on the grid is high.



Why Kukui Hele Pō?


Kukui Hele Po Program allows the homeowners of Hawai'i to utilize the ample solar power that they produce to power life both during the day and evening. Utilizing the Sunrun Brightbox home battery solution to store the power produced by solar panels, homeowners in the program can help reduce the need to utilize dirty coal and oil power on O'ahu.


Sunrun developed the program with OATI and Hawaiian Electric to support the utility grid when help is needed. Sunrun can monitor energy in a home's solar battery and export it to the grid to stabilize it when demand or strain on the grid is high.


What's in it for homeowners?

When homeowners sign up, they will receive some amazing benefits:

  1. Sunrun provides them a $200 gift card 

  2. Sunrun donates $50 in the homeowner’s name to 'Aha Pūnana Leo, a nonprofit that runs 12 Hawaiian language schools across the islands.

  3. Save additional money on homes monthly HECO bill

  4. Gain access to future Grid stabilization programs

  5. Reduce Hawai'i's utilization of fossil fuels


How does Kukui Hele Pō work?


Sunrun worked closely with OATI and Hawaiian Electric to find a solution to Hawaii's grid stability issues. Grid stability issues can cause power outages and expansive renovation projects whose costs usually get past on to the customers. The Kukui Hele Pō program was developed to avoid that and help improve the grid for everyone on O'ahu.


Kukui Hele Pō allows homes with their Brightbox solar batteries to be monitored and connected to the grid, so when a strain is detected, small amounts of power can be pulled from the home batteries and used to stabilize the grid. For homeowners who will be getting the Brightbox battery solution, all they have to do is sign up and get access to the program's benefits!


What is the downside?


The program was designed to make sure that all parties involved benefit from the program. As a result, the program will only help improve savings for the customer! The homeowner will still be able to utilize the home battery in the case of a power outage and to help maximize savings on their monthly HECO bill. 


How frequently will HECO need to utilize homeowner's batteries?


One of the reasons that electricity is so expensive in Hawaii is because the grid can be hard to manage. Variables like the weather, global events, and holidays can lead to sudden strains on the grid, so it is impossible to know precisely when and how often Hawaiin Electric will need to utilize a home battery system.


Regardless of how often the batteries are used, homeowners who have opted into the program will see a benefit every month. Homeowners who stay enrolled in the program will see bill credits of between five and ten dollars a month on their HECO bill. 


Will HECO recharge the batteries?


Because the batteries are optimized and designed to be powered by solar, they will not be charged by HECO. Like a typical day, a home's solar battery system will be powered by the sun and a home's solar panels. 


How can a homeowner gain access to the program?


At Alchemy Solar we always want to provide solar education about programs that help them save money. The great thing about Kukui Hele Pō is the that process for option in is straightforward. If you are a preexisting customer, please reach out to your Alchemy Solar consultant.


If you are a homeowner interested in learning more about Kukui Hele Pō, solar, or home batteries, please contact Alchemy Solar today for a free consultation. 



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