The world’s largest hybrid solar/wind power system has been commissioned in Kamuela on the Big Island in Hawaii.
NEWARK, Delaware, US, 2001-04-25 <SolarAccess.com> AstroPower Inc. installed the 225 kW system at the Parker Ranch, one of the largest cattle ranches in the United States. The installation includes a 175 kW solar PV system that was designed by PowerLight Corp., using 80,000 AstroPower solar cells in more than 475 AstroPower large area panels. Rated at 440 Wp each, the PV panels are the largest UL-approved solar power panels commercially available. The system uses a PowerLight PowerTracker to follow the sun throughout the day. At night, the ranch relies on five wind turbines for 50 kW of power to pump water. “We’re pleased to play such a major role in the world’s largest hybrid solar/wind power system,” says Howard Wenger of AstroPower. “Our large-area panels really deliver for Parker Ranch, ensuring reliable electricity generation and conservation simultaneously.” The 225,000 acre cattle ranch is located on Hawaii’s Waimean pasturelands and the solar pumps provide drinking water to livestock in three grazing areas. The savings in utility bills are more than the amortized cost of the hybrid system. Solar power usually coincides with peak demand, while wind can generate at night and during inclement weather. AstroPower is based in Delaware and claims to be the world’s largest independent manufacturer of solar PV products. It develops and manufactures solar cells, modules, panels and systems for both off-grid and on-grid applications. Earlier this year, the company was ranked 39th on Business Week’s Top 50 S&P Small Cap Company.