Maui News

Update: Honokowai Storage Facility Turns to Sun for Savings

September 15, 2011, 7:12 PM HST
* Updated September 16, 12:20 PM
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By Wendy Osher

[flashvideo file=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hCW6NGamfgE /]  The largest commercial photovoltaic power generation system in Maui County was unveiled today in West Maui.

AAAAA Rent-A-Space, a storage facility and commercial center in Honokowai is turning to the sun for savings with a new 600-kilowatt PV system.

In addition to powering the west Maui storage facility and center, the system will also contribute to the state’s “feed-in tariff” program.  Company officials say the system has the capacity to feed 2880 kilowatt-hours into the island’s electrical grid each day.  That’s enough clean, renewable energy to power up to 220 Maui homes.

(Left to right) Pastor Chris Martin, AAAAA Rent-A-Space founder Jim Knuppe, Pastor Laki Kaahumanu, Haleakala Solar Jim Whitcomb. Courtesy photo.

Company officials spoke of the environmental benefits as well saying the energy generated is equivalent to what would have been produced by the burning of 1,451 barrels of oil each year.  In addition, company officials say, the system helps avoid the release of more than 1.7 tons of carbon dioxide annually–that’s equivalent to taking 245 passenger vehicles off the road, or planting more than 29,000 trees.

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The system also includes a “Level 2” electric vehicle charging station, slated to be operational before the end of the year.

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Senator Rosalyn H. “Roz” Baker joined fellow community leaders in the dedication ceremony.  Also in attendance was AAAAA Rent-A-Space founder Jim Knuppe, who participated in a blessing and traditional untying of Hawaiian maile lei at the entry to the system’s control room.

AAAAA Installs PV System. Courtesy photo.

“Responsible, sustainable stewardship of the land has long been a core value of our islands,” said Knuppe. “Hawai’i is precious, its people special. If AAAAA Rent-A-Space is able to walk a path that nurtures our island home, how can we progress otherwise?”

The project supports the Hawaiian Clean Energy Initiative, which aims to have 70% of the state’s energy for electricity and ground transportation come from clean energy by 2030.

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The 1,938 solar panels were installed by Maui-based Haleakala Solar.  Hawaii-based contractors and suppliers were also used throughout the development and construction of the project.

 

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