HECO Picks Hoku Solar for Negotiations to Provide PV Power at Facility

Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) is entering negotiations with Hoku Solar, Inc., a subsidiary of Hoku Scientific, Inc. to install a photovoltaic (PV) power system on the roof at a HECO facility.

The system is rated at 167 kilowatts (kW), which will make it one of the largest PV systems on Oahu. HECO issued the request for proposals in March 2007. The utility will now enter into formal energy purchase negotiations with Hoku Solar with the final agreement subject to review and approval by the Public Utilities Commission.

Hoku Solar, a Hawaii-based company established to manufacture and install PV modules and integrated power systems, will own and operate the system, and charge HECO for the power generated at a fixed rate over 20 years. The installation is expected to be in service early in 2008.

Dave Waller, HECO vice president for customer solutions. “We found that Hoku met all the requirements in our request for proposals. Our selection committee was unanimous in recommending that we move forward to negotiations with the Hoku team that is offering an excellent turnkey project on this scale.”

Hawaii has recently been expanding independent PV projects, particularly on the Neighbor Islands where energy prices are highest, making PV a more affordable alternative than before. A new federal tax credit makes it attractive for non-utilities to build, own and operate these facilities.

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