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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.

Sopogy Expands to new Silicon Valley Office

February 21, 2008


Date: 2/21/08

Subject: Sopogy Expands to New Silicon Valley Office

Contact: Darren T. Kimura, President & CEO

Tel: (808) 833-4747

Email: dkimura@sopogy.org

Sopogy Expands to New Silicon Valley Office

Honolulu, HI – Sopogy, Inc. developer and manufacturer of proprietary and highly efficient “MicroCSP™” concentrating solar power panels today announced the opening of a new office West Coast office located in California’s Bay Area. The office will serve as home for the company’s sales, marketing, customer support activities and California focused project management. The office will be led by Silicon Valley veteran and company Director of Corporate Development, Al Yuen PhD.

“Opening the West Cost Solar Solutions center is a major step forward for Sopogy. It helps us bring our technologies to the largest solar markets and allows us better service our rapidly growing customer base including the top Engineering Procurement and Contracting and Power Purchase Financing firms in the solar industry.” Said Darren T. Kimura, President and CEO of Sopogy, Inc.

The Honolulu, Hawaii office continues to be the Company’s corporate headquarters and is home for all executive, research, development, administrative and Hawaii focused project management and sales activities.

About Sopogy

Founded in 2005, Sopogy specializes in research, development and manufacturing of MicroCSP™ solar technologies. MicroCSP™ systems focus and intensifies solar energy using mirrors and optics to generate thermal energy. This process provides a 2x increase over traditional solar panels. Sopogy’s integrated solar solution brings the proven economics of large utility solar energy systems to the industrial and commercial sectors in a durable, smaller and cost effective package. Please visit www.sopogy.org for more information.

Solar-power ‘farms’ catching on as well

February 10, 2008

Sopogy 10 Megawatt Solar Farm

Solar electrical systems aren’t only being considered for homes and business buildings.

At least three solar farms are being considered for Hawai’i. The James Campbell Co. last month signed an agreement with a Hoku Scientific Inc. unit to plan a Kapolei Sustainable Energy Park that would be capable of generating 1.5 mega watts of power, or enough to power 6,700 homes for a year.

The photovoltaic farm would be the largest such facility on O’ahu, though plans are afoot for an even larger 10-megawatt solar farm on O’ahu using a slightly different technology known as concentrating solar power. Sopogy Inc., a Honolulu-based company, wants to build the facility with the help of up to $35 million of special purpose revenue bonds.

Sopogy already is in the process of planning and building a 1-megawatt solar farm using its technology at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority on the Big Island.

Instead of employing photovoltaic cells that convert light to electricity, the system makes use of curved mirrors that intensify and focus sun energy on a pipe filled with a fluid. After being heated, the fluid can be used to drive turbines and generate electricity, for use in absorption electricity or steam creation.

While the technology has been around for more than 30 years, Sopogy says it has a design that makes the process more efficient.

“It’s a very interesting approach,” said Darren Kimura, president of Sopogy, which last year attracted more than $9 million in venture capital funding.

“We feel very comfortable with moving forward with a significantly larger project.”

Kimura said he is receiving calls and e-mails on a regular basis asking about the technology, which, unlike photovoltaic, can be used to generate electricity at night by storing the heated fluid during the day for use hours later.

Kimura declined to say where the O’ahu solar farm might be located and said he has been in discussions with Hawaiian Electric Co. about the project.

—Greg Wiles