A power purchase agreement (PPA) has been awarded by the DOE to Hawai’i Pacific Solar, LLC, which will install the systems. In announcing the news, Governor Neil Abercrombie and Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi said that the 2.4 megawatt project would be undertaken at no cost to the state.
Work on the projects is slated to begin in January, with completion expected by the summer of 2014. The DOE has said that it will buy the power back at a rate of around 16.9 U.S. cents per kilowatt hour (/kWh). This is set to rise to 28 cents /kWh over the course of the 20-year contract period.
By installing the photovoltaic systems, the DOE hopes to save an estimated $30 million over the life of the project. Overall, the systems are expected to generate four million kWh of electricity annually, which should cover 60 percent of the schools energy consumption.
Superintendent Matayoshi commented, "The state Department of Education is committed to utilizing clean, renewable energy sources and finding ways to strategically reduce the cost of school operations. Over the next decade, the DOE plans to aggressively expand its photovoltaic project statewide to all schools."
The following schools will benefit from the initiative: ‘Ele’ele Elementary; Hanalei Elementary; Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle; Kalaheo Elementary; Kapa’a Elementary; Kapa’a High; Kapa’a Middle; Kaua’i High; Kekaha Elementary; Kilauea Elementary; King Kaumuali’i Elementary; Koloa Elementary; Waimea Canyon Elementary; Waimea High; and Wilcox Elementary.
A pilot PPA photovoltaic project is also underway on O’ahu, involving four high schools: Aiea High, Kahuku High and Intermediate, Kaimuki High and Wai’anae High. It is penciled in for completion in 2012.