One of the largest ranches in the United States has become the site for the world”s largest hybrid solar-wind energy power project.
KAMUELA, Hawaii, US, 2001-03-19 <SolarAccess.com> One of the largest ranches in the United States has become the site for the world’s largest hybrid solar-wind energy power project. Parker Ranch, a 225,000 acre cattle ranch in Hawaii, has installed two acres of solar photovoltaic panels and five wind turbines. The PV panels generate 175 kW of electricity and the turbines generate another 50 kW. “By harnessing the natural energy of the sun and wind, Parker Ranch will be contributing to Hawaii’s energy solution and conserving natural resources,” says Carl Carlson, president of Parker Ranch Inc. “Thanks to PowerLight’s technology and this unique energy generation project, we’ll realize significant cost savings in our utility bills.” “We’re proud to be the creator of the world’s largest hybrid solar energy project on Parker Ranch lands,” adds John Crouch of PowerLight Corporation. “Today’s businesses are faced with considerable energy challenges: rising costs of traditional energy sources, limited supplies and environmental pressures.” “We realize that businesses are looking for a better, more sustainable approach to securing a safe and reliable energy supply,” he adds. “Hawaii and Parker Ranch are blessed with exceptional renewable energy resources. Thanks to this new project, Parker Ranch can generate its own power efficiently and cost-effectively.” The PV panels use PowerLight’s ground-mounted PowerTracker solar electric system to rotates the solar panels to follow the sun’s path, generating the maximum energy possible. The five turbines were assembled to assist with the power generating process and, on any given day, the combination of sun and wind provides enough energy to run all the pumps delivering drinking water to Parker Ranch’s livestock in the Mauna Kea, Mana and Keamuku grazing areas. Money saved from reduced utility bills more than covers the amortized cost of the solar energy water pumping system. The installation on Waimean pasturelands was designed and managed by PowerLight and, over the life of the project, the system will generate enough power to displace the use of 30,000 barrels of imported oil and thousands of pounds of emissions. Parker Ranch is one of the largest and most historic cattle ranches in the U.S., spreading over 225,000 acres across Hawaii. It surrounds the town of Waimea and spreads between the Kohala and Mauna Kea mountains. PowerLight is a major manufacturer and installer of grid-connected commercial solar electric systems that was founded in 1991.