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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 11:53 a.m., Thursday, February 24, 2005

Business briefs: HECO awards wind farm contract

Staff and news services

Hawaiian Electric Company has awarded a Wisconsin firm the exclusive design and manufacturing rights to produce a grid stabilizing device for wind farms, a concept patented by Hawaiian Electric.

S&C Electric Company's Power Quality Products Division will produce an "electronic shock absorber," which stores excess power during periods of increased generation and releases the stored energy during periods of decreased generation. The system smoothes transitions to help stabilize the frequency of the grid, according to S&C.

A demonstration ESA is scheduled to be installed and operational on the Big Island by late 2005, according to S&C.

Host Marriott earnings fall in fourth quarter

Host Marriott Corp., the largest U.S. hotel real-estate investment trust, said fourth-quarter net income fell 59 percent from a year earlier, when profit included an insurance settlement. Earnings dropped less than analysts expected as increased travel let the company charge more for rooms.

Net income decreased to $61 million, or 15 cents a share, from $150 million, or 46 cents, a year earlier, the Bethesda, Maryland-based company said today in a statement. Revenue gained the most in three years, climbing 13 percent to $1.18 billion.

Host Marriott, which owns large urban hotels that cater to conventions, said higher demand for rooms prompted a rise in the average rate. Chief Executive Chris Nassetta is purchasing upscale city properties and resorts such as the Fairmont Kea Lani Maui in Hawaii that he expects will benefit from travel's resurgence.