Hawaiian Electric Goes Solar - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaiian Electric Goes Solar

Scott Paul Scott Paul
Peter Rosegg Peter Rosegg

By Walter Makaula

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Hundreds of photovoltaic panels are going up on the roof of Hawaiian Electric Company's Archer substation on Ward Avenue.

HECO's Peter Rosegg says, "That's roughly over the course of a year, enough to power about 40 houses."

The company responsible for installing the system says the technology is simple.

Company Vice President, Scott Paul tells us, "You're taking sunlight and converting it directly into electricity with no moving parts, no gas or oil."

Paul adds, the system will do it at a fraction of the cost.

He says, "We're providing them with electricity at a fixed rate over 20 years." Paul says, "Currently the price of electricity fluctuates based on the cost of oil, and there's no oil in the sun or photovoltaic power and therefore our cost can be fixed over that 20 year term."

Home owners can save money with a system of their own.

More and more people are buying them to take advantage of the tax credits. The state offers a 35% credit on the total cost, and there's also a 30% federal tax credit.

But for now, Hawaiian Electric is just hoping it's investment in the technology pays off.

Rosegg says, "If it is what we expect it will be... successful, we'll begin to do this at other properties." he says, "We'll be doing it on all our flat roofs as well I'm sure before very long."

The installation will begin right away, and the system should be in use by the end of the year.

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