HECO to Pursue PV Power at Its Substation

Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) plans to seek proposals early in 2007 from solar-energy companies to build, own and operate a photovoltaic (PV) system on the roof of its Archer Substation in Oahu.

As currently envisioned, the PV system would be rated at about 155 kilowatts (kW) of power, making it the second largest on Oahu after a U.S. Navy project on Ford Island. The Archer project, estimated to cost $1.3 million, is planned to be in operation in late 2007. The solar-energy company selected would sell power from the PV installation to Hawaiian Electric and would be able to claim federal tax credits that the utility cannot. If approved by the PUC, HECO would be able to add more green power at a lower cost to customers than if the utility built the facility. HECO may also seek an option to buy the facility in about five years. “This project may allow us to begin a green-pricing program for this and future renewable energy projects,” said Karl Stahlkopf, HECO senior vice president for energy solutions and chief technology officer. “There is a tremendous upsurge in photovoltaic energy worldwide, including in Hawaii. HECO has had demonstration projects and continues to promote Sun Power for Schools, but this will be HECO’s first utility-sited, larger-scale commercial photovoltaic project,” Stahlkopf said.
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