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Dec 04

Sun Power for Schools Dedication at Kahului School

Posted on December 4, 2012 at 12:00 AM by Office of Council Services

By: Doug Mcleod, Energy Commissioner

Sunpower for Schools has another name-the Solar Schoolhouse.  That name gets closer to the real purpose and the real value of this program today.
 
This program is not about powering the school so much as powering the imagination of our keiki. Five panels will only provide for a fraction of Kahului school's electrical needs, but 5 panels is more than enough to get the students thinking about what an entire roof full of panels could do to reduce oil use.
 
What 5,000 panels can do.
 
Perhaps even what 5,000 acres of panels could do.
 
Over the past few years Maui residents have set new records every year in terms of the amount of PV we are installing.
 

Kahului School PV panels.jpgThe County itself will be turning on another 1 million watts of solar panels in the next few weeks from panels installed on the ground at the wastewater treatment facilities in Kihei and Lahaina.
 
Total installed solar power on Maui is over 20 million watts.  20 MegaWatts.  That compares with a peak load for the utility of less than 200 MW.  More importantly, solar has grown faster than any expert thought possible as recently as 3 years ago.  
 
We are also excited to announce that by the end of month the County will be bringing the first large scale carport pv project online at the Kihei Aquatic Center.
 
All of these new ways of thinking about solar power-making shade for the public and making use of vacant land- required people to think creatively about what can be done with solar panels and solar power.
 
We hope that one of the children attending Kahului school will be inspired by these 5 panels, and will find a way to develop the new ideas that will allow us to cross the remaining barriers to a future where all electricity on Maui is made without oil, but at a price we can afford.
 
Mahalo to MECO, to SunPower, and to American Electric for powering the imagination of the keiki.

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