Civic Center’s photovoltaic project completed

LIHU‘E — Although the installation of the photovoltaic system on the roof of the Lihu‘e Civic Center’s Pi‘ikoi Building was completed just two weeks ago, the county is already realizing savings from the project, a county press release announced Wednesday.

“We are very pleased with the early results of the county’s first photovoltaic system,” said Mayor Bernard Carvalho Jr., noting that one of the administration’s Holo Holo 2020 initiatives is to incorporate as much renewable energy into county facilities as possible.

Currently, there are two PV projects that are underway at county facilities, one at the Kaiakea fire station and the other at the Waimea wastewater treatment plant.

The PV system is expected to generate a savings of $46,909 each year, based on a rate of 41.1 cents per kilowatt-hour. However, the actual production figures and dollar savings will depend on fluctuating weather patterns and KIUC’s kwh prices.

In terms of impact to the environment, the PV system will significantly reduce greenhouse gas and carbon dioxide emissions on the island and lessen the county’s dependence on fossil fuels, the county said.

The county selected Solar Engineering and Contracting to supply for the $379,000 contract to install the 85 kw photovoltaic system expected to produce 114,135 kilowatts of energy annually.

It includes a rooftop solar array, a single inverter and related electrical metering and safety equipment.

The system provides real-time production information, including daily, monthly and yearly production levels, facility load versus PV generation, and system efficiency compared to available sunlight and power produced from an attached weather station.

It also enables the county to change the PV production to environmental attributes also known as carbon avoidance and has an alarm function to alert the county when the efficiency is lower than expected.

The project’s projected completion date was the end of April.

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