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Tech firm will build 10-megawatt, 50-acre solar farm

February 26, 2008

Tech firm will build 10-megawatt, 50-acre solar farm

With help from the state, Honolulu-based solar technology firm Sopogy Inc. plans to build a 50-acre solar farm on Oahu capable of generating about 10 megawatts of power, enough energy to power about 30,000 homes.

The company is seeking up to $35 million in special-purpose revenue bonds from the state for the project.

Company President Darren Kimura declined to disclose the project’s location but said he expects the systems to be in operation by late next year.

The project would use Sopogy’s proprietary solar collectors, which concentrate the sun’s power to heat mineral oil, which is then run through a turbine to create electricity.

Sopogy plans to sell the power to Hawaiian Electric Co.

“What we’re trying to do is bring large-scale solar energy to Hawaii,” Kimura told PBN. “It’s particularly important for Oahu because of the density of the population — there are so many users on the grid with the military and hospitality industry here.”

Last year, the state awarded Sopogy $10 million in special-purpose revenue bonds for a 1-megawatt demonstration solar farm at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority in Kailua-Kona on the Big Island.

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