By Avi Bar-Eli

Yesterday was the deadline for hooking up solar panels to the national electricity network, but only 53% of panels that businesses were licensed to install have been connected.

The Israel Electric Corporation approved requests to connect solar panels with a total of 51 megawatts of production capacity before December 14, at which point it announced that the quota for solar electricity production at commercial institutions had been filled.

However, of these 51 megawatts, only 28 megawatts have been connected to the national electricity grid. The final day for hookup was yesterday.
Solar panels

Among private households, the percentage was even lower. The IEC approved requests from households to hook up a total of 3.37 megawatts of solar panels to the national grid. To date, only 1.24 megawatts have gone live – 37% of the approved output.

In order to encourage solar installations, the IEC buys excess electricity from businesses and households with solar panels at a rate higher than that at which it sells electricity.

The shortfall in solar panels is believed to be the result of canceled orders and backtracking by solar panel installers, for technical or financial reasons. The IEC had been required to hook up approved solar panels to the network within six months of when the request was filed, which would have meant no later than June 14. However, the Electricity Authority agreed to delay the deadline until the end of June.

The Electricity Authority commented yesterday that it had approved late requests and special requests between February and April, and these parties would still be able to hook up to the grid. In addition, over the past two weeks it was contacted by parties that had not been able to meet the June deadline.