Mayor set to dedicate PV systems

Maui’s largest photovoltaic system and the island’s first commercial-sized carport photovoltaic system will be dedicated by Mayor Alan Arakawa at 9 a.m. Monday at the Kihei Aquatic Center, a county announcement said.

“This is an exciting time in the history of Maui County as we lead the state in implementing the use of clean energy sources at government facilities – even in parking lots,” Arakawa said. “This investment is expected to save the county more than $10 million and even more if electricity rates continue to rise.”

A newly installed array of panels at the Kihei Wastewater Treatment facility sets a record as the largest wattage PV system on Maui, the county said. The new panels have a capacity of 900 kilowatts, said Doug McLeod, Maui County energy commissioner. The panels cost around $3 million to $4 million.

Also the commercial-size carport PV system at the Kihei Aquatic Center is the first-of-its-kind on Maui, the county said.

That system cost around $600,000, McLeod said. The covered carport has rooftop solar panels and covers less than half of the parking stalls at the aquatic center. It also provides shade for cars.

The solar PV systems at both locations were installed as part of a power purchase agreement between the county and Bosch Solar Energy. Haleakala Solar and Mangan Renewables Inc. installed the systems for Bosch.

Arakawa commended county administrators and County Council leaders in sharing a vision of “capturing the natural energy sources we have readily available to us” and supported the funding requests to move forward with construction.

The county has installed PV systems at 15 facilities since 2001, with 12 on Maui and three on Lanai.

The installed capacity of these solar systems is more than 2.2 megawatts and the systems are expected to produce more than 3 million kilowatt hours annually.

PV systems at county facilities include:

* Three at Public Works/Highways Division baseyards.

* Two at wastewater treatment facilities.

* Two at park facilities.

* Four at Maui Fire Department facilities.

* One at Maui Police Department facilities.

* One at Department of Water Supply facilities.

* Two at senior centers.

McLeod will be available to answer questions about the design of the solar systems.

For more information about the project and other county initiatives, contact McLeod at 269-1676 or see and click on Energy Office located under Office of Economic Development. It is listed under the Mayor’s Office tab.