Sopogy’s Solar Air Conditioning cools Sempra Utility energy center

January 30, 2009

Sopogy technology to be used in California project

Pacific Business News (Honolulu)

Honolulu-based solar energy company Sopogy Inc. will be part of a California demonstration project that aims to showcase six new solar technologies.

Nine of Sopogy’s patented solar concentrators, which the company designs, engineers and manufactures in Hawaii, will be used to run air conditioning units on a 45,000 square-foot building in Downey, Calif.

Sopogy’s technology, resembling large silver troughs, uses mirrors and lenses to concentrate the sun’s rays on fluids, creating steam that turns turbines to generate electricity.

The demonstration project was announced Friday by the Southern California Gas Co. and San Diego Gas & Electric.

The California utilities said they will be testing solar technologies at different California sites over the next 18 months. The utilities are testing five other solar technologies, and says the project should help accelerate the commercialization of the new technologies.

The names of the other five technology companies were not released.

Sopogy — the name combines the words solar, power and technology — was launched in 2007 after five years of research and development. It was spun off from Energy Industries, which Darren Kimura founded in 1994.

Sopogy solar power systems to be demonstrated in California

January 29, 2009

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Advertiser Staff

Sopogy Inc., the Honolulu-based maker of a concentrating solar thermal power systems, will have its product showcased in a renewable energy demonstration project run in California.
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Sempra Energy’s Southern California Gas Co. and San Diego Gas & Electric want to test solar technologies at sites over the next year and a half, including those involving electrical generation and natural lighting. The gas company will install nine of Sopogy’s SopoNova 4.0 units to run air conditioning on a 45,000 square-foot building in Downey, California.

Sempra is testing five solar technologies to see which ones work the best. Sopogy’s system features mirrors focused onto a chamber containing a liquid that is heated. This can be used in power generation systems, absorption air conditioning and other energy systems.

San Diego-based Sempra said it hopes the demonstration project will help accelerate the commercialization of the new solar technologies. Sopogy said the effort will mark the first time its technology has been used in an air conditioning project.

Sopogy last month announced it had entered into an agreement for a 50 megawatt solar power plant in Toledo, Spain. In June the company won the new product of the year award from the National Society of Professional Engineers.

Scoops: Who’s moving, buying, opening, changing, winning

January 13, 2009
Business News - Local News

Pacific Business News (Honolulu) – by PBN Staff

Renewable energy energizes retired HECO executive

T. Michael May, who retired Aug. 1 as CEO of Hawaiian Electric Co., has teamed up with local entrepreneurs to find renewable energy sources for Hawaii.

May, 62, has equity ownership and is a board member of Sopogy, which specializes in solar power collectors. He also has equity ownership in Natural Power Concepts, an alternative energy technology incubator. And, he is involved in at least two other soon-to-be-named tech firms run by entrepreneurs in their 30s.

“It’s invigorating to be with people who have a passion for what they are doing and using their experiences and skills to quickly launch new dreams in products,” May said, adding that most of his time this year will be spent capitalizing on new ventures, and taking the ideas to market.

His wife, Carol Ai May, vice president of City Mill, thought he would take it easy during retirement.

Spain Solar Farm Project expands Sopogy’s global strategy

January 12, 2009
Business News - Local News

Pacific Business News (Honolulu) – by Nanea Kalani Pacific Business News


Christina Failma, PBN

Sopogy CEO Darren Kimura says the lack of financial incentives in the United States has forced him to become more global.

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Building a multimillion-dollar solar farm in Europe over the next two years is part of Honolulu-based Sopogy‘s strategy to get its solar technology deployed around the world.

The company announced last week that it will build a 50-megawatt system in Toledo, Spain, using its proprietary technology in partnership with a German energy financier and a Spanish project developer. The system could generate enough electricity to power 15,000 homes.

Sopogy founder and CEO Darren Kimura said the Spanish project, expected to be completed by the end of 2010 and cost about $300 million, is part of the company’s plans to expand its presence abroad as the U.S. financial market wanes.

“For about a year now, Sopogy has felt that it’s necessary to diversify and become more global,” Kimura told PBN. “Because our technology offers higher production and lower capital costs, we’re looking for sites where our technology has the best value, and the best value today lies in the European market.”