HONOLULU, HAWAII– A traditional Hawaiian blessing today, at the future site of the Kapolei Sustainable Energy Park, marked the symbolic launch of a photovoltaic (PV) project that will provide 1.18 megawatts of solar power and help move Hawaii closer to its clean-energy goals. Forest City Hawaii is the project developer and Hoku Solar is the designer and installer of the project, which includes more than 4,200 solar panels strategically placed atop a concrete-ballasted racking system.
Dr. Samuel M. ‘Ohukani‘ōhi‘a Gon III, senior scientist and cultural advisor for the Nature Conservancy of Hawaii, performed a blessing of the 12-acre parcel of land near the James Campbell Industrial Park; a place that until 1986 was used as an industrial disposal site.
The transformation from ‘brownfield’ to ‘brightfield’ began with the James Campbell Company’s vision of sustainability for Kapolei and an idea for a solar farm to occupy land that is otherwise unusable for traditional development or agriculture. Under an order from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the site has been sealed under a plastic liner and thick mound of asphalt.
“This environmental success story is a model for effective land use, and an innovative solution that aids both Hawaii’s economy and ecology,” said Jon Wallenstrom, president of Forest City Hawaii.
“The Kapolei Sustainable Energy Park will produce enough electricity to power between 150 and 250 homes with clean, solar energy,” said Scott Paul, CEO for Hoku Corporation. “And, over the next twenty years, it will reduce Hawaii’s dependence on oil by more than 55,000 barrels – eliminating more than 24,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions in the process.”
Forest City Hawaii and Hawaiian Electric Company signed a power purchase agreement for the solar farm earlier this month; a contract that must still be approved by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission with input from Consumer Advocate. Forest City’s objective is for the Kapolei Sustainable Energy Park to be operational by the end of 2011, subject to regulatory approval.
Submitted by Hoku Corp