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Hawaii unveils solar power plan

Jan 11, 2008 - Associated Press

The state plans to have large solar power arrays constructed at a dozen locations around the state.

Proposal from private companies are being solicited to develop photovoltaic systems that could generate as much as 34 megawatts of electricity.

That would reduce Hawaii's need for approximately 130,000 barrels of fuel oil per year and would generate enough power to supply about 9,000 homes per year, state officials said Wednesday.

"This is one of the largest, if not the largest, state government solar initiatives in the nation," said Ted Liu, director of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism.

The systems would be located at 11 Department of Transportation sites around the state, as well as at the Hawaii Foreign-Trade Zone in downtown Honolulu. The state would purchase the power, which would be used internally, for at least 20 years.

"Any private company would be able to reduce project costs by taking advantage of state and federal energy tax credits not otherwise available to government agencies," Liu said.

The DOT plans to have all 12 systems completed and operational within the next two years.

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Updated: 2003/07/28