Educational mission: Solar power plants combine ecology and profitability
Solar sets the pace in Hawaii: after installing the rooftop installation for the green film and photo giant Fujifilm last year, Conergy has now announced a new project in the surfer’s paradise. By 2014, the system supplier will have equipped many additional schools with solar power plants with a total capacity of more than 4 MW.
The first project is on the rooftop of the public Aiea High School in Honolulu. 522 Conergy solar modules are producing more than 170,000 kilowatt hours of clean electricity a year. Kahuku, Kaimuki and Waianae High Schools will quickly follow and convert to clean energy. In the next two years, additional elementary and high schools on the islands of Oahu and Kauai will be bringing the energy turnaround to life for their students.
This major Hawaiian project is carried out by Conergy’s local partner, the clean-energy integrator Hawaii Pacific Solar (HPS) together with RC Energy, who secures the funding and provides the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for the major Hawaiian project so that it will be installed at no upfront costs for the local Department of Education (DOE). The schools benefit from the power plants by significantly lower energy costs and by making clean energy come alive for their students.
Solar power plant combines profitability, ecology, sustainability and education
"We’re very proud of this new project in Hawaii, because it combines economic, environmental and social aspects", says President of Conergy North America, Anthony Fotopoulos. "Over a 20-year period, each school will, on average, save around $500,000 dollars on their electricity costs, and, most importantly, will also be achieving their aims of educating children about green issues. The installation will save on the production of 117 metric tons of harmful CO2 greenhouse gases – that corresponds to the emissions from 49,748 liters of gas or 43,403 liters of oil. This is how the new generation of young people will learn to approach energy in a totally different way."
The project is thus more than just power plants: the partners are also providing the schools with a wide range of teaching materials to explain the advantages of renewable energies and are helping new school projects to be set up by providing fresh subjects for the curriculum.
Hawaii, the sunshine state: 70% of energy requirements from clean sources by 2030
In this way, the school authorities are making an active contribution to the energy revolution and to hitting the ambitious climate goals set by the island state. By 2030, the islanders want to be getting 70% of their energy from clean energy by 2030 with 30% from efficiency measures, and 40% coming from locally generated renewable sources. Solar energy plays a critical role in this development thanks to Hawaii’s perfect climatic conditions. With an average of 6 hours sunshine per day as well as high irradiation levels, the surfer’s paradise of Hawaii is one of the most attractive places in the world for solar installations, providing maximum yields.
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