15 Kaua’i Schools Get Solar Under Agreement

December 14, 2011, 9:15 AM HST · Updated December 14, 9:18 AM

By Wendy Osher

Courtesy photo.

Fifteen schools on Kaua’i will have photovoltaic systems installed under a new Power Purchase Agreement.

The agreement is designed to reduce the cost of school operations, saving an estimated $30 million over the life of the project, according to state officials.

By entering into the agreement, the state receives solar power without any up-front costs; and the third-party providers are afforded a mechanism to claim tax credits.


The Department of Education awarded the contract to Hawai’i Pacific Solar, LLC, for installation of PV systems at no cost to the state.

Schools that will benefit from the project include:  ‘Ele’ele Elementary, Hanalei Elementary, Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle, Kalaheo Elementary, Kapa’a Elementary, Kapa’a High, Kapa’a Middle, Kaua’i High, Kekaha Elementary, Kilauea Elementary, King Kaumuali’i Elementary, Koloa Elementary, Waimea Canyon Elementary, Waimea High, and Wilcox Elementary.

Courtesy photo.

“What better place to set the example of changing the way we approach our energy needs and usage than in our schools,” said Governor Neil Abercrombie. “It demonstrates to the leaders of tomorrow that we are taking proactive steps now to address our state’s disproportionate dependence on oil.”

Schools Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi said the agreement allows schools to streamline costs while staying on a path of reducing dependence on fossil fuels.

“By lowering operating costs such as energy, we can focus state resources on student achievement and effective teaching,” she said.

Matayoshi said that over the next decade, the DOE plans to aggressively expand its photovoltaic project statewide to all schools.

A separate pilot project on O’ahu, involving four high schools (Aiea High, Kahuku High and Intermediate, Kaimuki High and Wai’anae High), is currently underway and is expected to be completed in 2012.

PV installation at the Kaua’i schools begins in January and is expected to be completed by summer 2014.



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