HECO Partners with Hoku Solar for Power

HONOLULU (KHNL) - The people who produce your electricity are now looking skyward for power.

Oahu's major power supplier Hawaiian Electric, strikes another alternative energy deal for its own buildings.

HECO is partnering up with Hoku Solar to install a photovoltaic power system to the roof of the substation on Ward Avenue.

It'll be one of the largest PV systems on the island.

"Portable takes our silicon cells, they're very much like what you have in your computer, when the sunlight hits them, they turn that sunlight directly into electricity," said Peter Rosegg, spokesperson for HECO.

It's part of HECO's efforts to use renewable energy.

"Every bit that we can do to get our energy here for our own renewable resources rather than for imported oil, every little bit counts," said Rosegg.

The system is rated 167 kilowatts, making it one of the largest PV systems on Oahu. But it's not big enough to make a difference on your bill.

HECO officials also hope that by installing the system on the roof, they'll encourage customers to do the same.

"If you have a warehouse or a large building with a flat roof and you can have one of these companies come in, they'll install it and operate it at almost no cost to you," said Rosegg.

Hoku Solar will charge HECO at a fixed rate for 20 years. So HECO won't have to worry about rising fuel costs for this location. The system will be up and running early next year.

HECO says you can expect to hear more projects like this, in the near future.