Pacific Business News (Honolulu) - 3:51 PM HAST Friday, August 17, 2007

Sopogy Inc., a Honolulu-based solar technology company, will build a 50-kilowatt demonstration facility at the green energy testing site of a Spokane, Wash.-based utility.

Darren Kimura, president and chief executive officer of Sopogy, said the company will sign a contract with Avista Utilities on Monday that will see the installation of an undisclosed number of solar collectors begin in about a month.

Kimura did not describe details of the deal.

Sopogy also plans to build a one-megawatt demonstration of its concentrated solar technology on the Big Island. The differences between the two locations will provide insights into how the technology works at varying temperatures, Kimura said.

“We know the technology is solid, but we don’t know how it will work in winter,” he said. “That’s the challenge for solar technology.”

Avista serves more than 300,000 electric customers in three western states and is working to incorporate renewable energy sources into its portfolio.