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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Lana'i plugs in 1.2-megawatt solar farm, the state's largest

Advertiser Staff

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

Gov. Linda Lingle and Castle & Cooke chairman David H. Murdock discussed the benefits of Hawai'i's largest solar farm, the 1.2-megawatt La Ola that was dedicated on Lana'i yesterday.

Castle & Cooke

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Castle & Cooke Hawai'i and SunPower Corp. yesterday dedicated the state's largest solar farm on Lana'i.

The 1.2-megawatt La Ola Solar Farm on a 10-acre parcel is expected to produce enough power to supply up to 30 percent of Lana'i's peak electric demand.

The system is expected to generate about 3 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year. The power is being purchased by Maui Electric Co., and transmitted to Lana'i's homes and businesses through MECO's electric power grid.

The solar farm will reduce carbon dioxide emissions by an estimated 2,300 tons each year, Castle & Cooke said.

That is roughly equivalent to the amount of carbon dioxide emitted from the consumption of almost 5,000 barrels of oil or more than 237,000 gallons of gasoline.

"Castle & Cooke is committed to helping the state of Hawai'i achieve energy independence. With the dedication of Hawai'i's largest solar farm, we are delivering on our commitment by bringing clean solar energy to the people of Lana'i," said David H. Murdock, company chairman and owner. "This state-of-the-art solar farm helps pave the way for Hawai'i to become a leader in the production of renewable energy. La Ola is just the first step of Castle & Cooke's plans for renewable, sustainable energy."

At the La Ola site, SunPower installed a single-axis SunPower Tracker system. The Tracker tilts toward the sun as it moves across the sky, increasing energy capture by up to 25 percent over fixed systems while reducing land-use requirements.

Castle & Cooke Inc. and its affiliated companies have operations in more than 24 states involved in such areas as real estate development, renewable energy and transportation equipment leasing.

The company's real estate developments include the master planned community of Mililani Town.