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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Four high schools to get solar panels

Advertiser Staff

Four public high schools will receive rooftop solar-electric panels in the first awarding of a state "power purchase agreement" contract, a legal agreement that allows a third party to own and operate a photovoltaic system installed on a state facility.

Hawaii Pacific Solar will install the systems at no cost to the DOE. Once the electricity-generating systems are operational, the DOE will buy power from Hawaii Pacific Solar at a discount that is expected to save the state at least $1 million in energy costs over the course of the 20-year contract.

The state Department of Education said yesterday that Hawaii Pacific Solar will install photovoltaic systems at Kaimukī High, 'Aiea High, Wai'anae High and Kahuku High and Intermediate. Construction is expected to be completed by December.

"Utilizing renewable energy sources to reduce the cost of school operations is a top priority for the DOE," Randolph Moore, assistant superintendent of the Office of School Facilities and Support Services, said in a news release.

The DOE said the schools were chosen through various criteria, including substantial electrical use, outstanding roof repairs and maximum sunshine.

The project starts a two-year plan to bring solar power to public schools throughout the state under Power Purchase Agreement contracts. The next phase is planned for Kaua'i later this year, followed by the Big Island, Maui and the remainder of schools on O'ahu.