HONOLULU, HI, May 15, 2008 — The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission has approved a contract for Hawaiian Electric Company to purchase power from a photovoltaic (PV) power system that Hoku Solar Inc. will install on the roof of Archer Substation at Hawaiian Electric’s Ward Avenue facility. The 218-kilowatt PV system is expected to be in service by the end of 2008.
Hoku Solar, a subsidiary of Hoku Scientific Inc., is a Hawaii-based company that designs, engineers, and installs turnkey PV power systems. To take advantage of available tax credits and financing, Hoku or its affiliate will own and operate the PV system and charge Hawaiian Electric for power at a fixed rate over 20 years.
Hawaiian Electric initiated the Archer Substation project to increase its use of renewable energy and gain experience with photovoltaic development, economics, performance, and operations and maintenance.
Additionally, long-term, fixed energy pricing for renewable energy is part of Hawaiian Electric’s effort to secure renewable energy at costs not tied to oil prices. PV is among renewable technologies not facing fuel costs which may vary from year to year. The utility will have an option to purchase the system from Hoku after five years.