AC Plan: Maui firm puts solar gear atop 3 schools on Oahu

Workers installing solar panels on the roof. (AP Photo/Courtesy SolarCity)

Maui-based Hawaii Pacific Solar said Monday it has completed installing solar systems at three Oahu public schools.

The company installed solar systems at Waianae Elementary, Waianae Intermediate and Leihoku Elementary. The schools are estimated to save between $600,000 and $745,000 over the 20-year life of the system.

“We are encouraged by Hawaiian Electric Co.’s movement on its agreements so the Department of Education can realize the savings from solar power,” said Bob Johnston, president and CEO of HPS. “We are nearing the completion of our contract and expect to have PV installed at the last two schools, Aiea Elementary and Maili Elementary, by the end of the year.”

HPS is installing solar panels at Oahu and Kauai schools through a power purchase agreement awarded to HPS by the Department of Education. The systems will be operated and maintained by Denver-based RC Energy. The installations are performed at no cost to the DOE.

HPS is giving each school lesson plan materials on solar energy, a sun safety program and a flat-screen monitor for students to do real-time monitoring of the power being generated and the amount of carbon reduction as a result of the solar panels.