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Hawaii's SunPower Solar Farm Part of State's Renewable Energy Program

Hawaii boasts the most installed solar kilowatts per person over any other U.S. state, and the opening today of SunPowers solar farm on the island of Oa...

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|Mar 24|magazine5 min read
Hawaii boasts the most installed solar kilowatts per person over any other U.S. state, and the opening today of SunPower’s solar farm on the island of Oahu is only furthering Hawaii’s bold renewable energy program.

The SunPower solar farm will provide 5 MW of electricity to the island, but is just one small piece of Hawaii’s broader renewable energy program. “These are our first two utility-scale projects,” said Peter Rosegg, referencing another 5 MW solar farm project approved for Axio Power Inc. “But it’s really just the beginning.” The island of Oahu is in the approval process for at least another 20-30 MW of installed solar capacity in the near future.

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Hawaii has created a renewable energy portfolio together with the help of the United States Department of Energy to reduce the island state’s dependence on imported oil. Currently, Hawaii generates 90 percent of its energy with imported oil. Through the renewable energy program, the state hopes to get 40 percent of its energy from renewable resources like solar by 2030.

Oahu is Hawaii’s most densely populated island—containing approximately 80 percent of the state’s population—and finding space for solar farms has been a challenge. Nonetheless, the island is also pursuing a 30 MW wind farm and geothermal project proposals are also on the table.