Maui County plans to install 1,000 solar panels by the end of the year

Hawaii Independent Staff

MAUI—Maui County officials announced this week that it is ready to install the largest solar panel project in the county’s history.

The Maui County Solar Rooftop project will install solar photovoltaic panels on five fire stations, four water supply facilities, four wastewater facilities, two police stations, two senior centers, at four park facilities and at four public works baseyards. The project means that at least 1,000 solar panels will be installed by the end of the year on various County properties.

“This project will save taxpayers money from day one and we’d like to see more, much more of these types of projects in the future,” said Maui Mayor Alan Arakawa.

The County has awarded contracts to install solar pv at the following locations

* Fire stations in Kahului, Lahaina, Lanai, Wailea, and Wailuku.

* Water supply facilities in Kahului, Makawao, Lahaina, and Mahinahina.

* Wastewater facilities in Kahului, Kihei, and Lahaina.

* Police stations in Lahaina and Lanai.

* Senior centers in Kaunoa and West Maui.

* Park facilities including Eddie Tam Gym, Lahaina Civic Center, and the Kihei Aquatic and Community Center.

* Highways Department baseyards in Lahaina, Lanai, Makawao, and Wailuku.

County officials said Maui Electric Company (MECO) may limit the County’s ability to interconnect solar pv at certain locations due to congestion issues in MECO’s system. As a result it is possible that some locations will be delayed or the system size at some locations will be more limited than expected. The maximum size of the rooftop systems as currently proposed is approximately 2.15 MW.

The larger group of sites was awarded to a team composed of Haleakala Solar (Puunene, Maui) Gen-X
Energy Development (Haiku, Maui), Nexgen (Boulder, Colorado), and Bosch Solar (San Mateo California). The Highways Department baseyards work was awarded to Greenpath Technologies, Inc., a Native Hawaiian-owned firm from Oahu.

Work is planned to begin sometime within a few months and go on through 2012.