Boston, MA., May 28, 2009 – Satcon, a provider of utility scale distributed power products, was selected to power La Ola, a solar photovoltaic (PV) farm and micro grid on the island of Lana’i in Hawaii.
The 1.2 MW installation sits on a 10-acre site in south Lana’i and is the first solar photovoltaic power plant to be controlled remotely by a utility, the Maui Electric Company.
The micro grid developed, coordinated and operated by Lanai Sustainability Research, through its managing member, Castle & Cooke Solar Management, and designed and built by California-based SunPower, is expected to produce enough solar energy to supply up to 30 percent of the island’s electric demand, according to a press release.
The installation uses Satcon’s Solstice micro grid solution, combined with SunPower’s solar tracking system. These technologies will increase the energy capture of the farm by more than 500,000 kWh annually, according to the release.
The solar farm builds on the progress of Governor Lingle’s Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative; an unprecedented state partnership launched in January 2008 with the U.S. Department of Energy which aims to have 70 percent of Hawaii’s energy needs come from clean sources by 2030.
Satcon’s Solstice inverters channel renewable power into the Maui Electric Company grid, resulting in an increase of 14.4 percent of installed electric generating capacity to the island. La Ola offers an offset equivalent to burning 202,400 gallons of diesel fuel, thereby avoiding 4.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide emission annually, according to the release.