University of Hawaii looks to cut energy bill through solar power

Tuesday, September 6, 2011 @ 12:09 PM
posted by rene5432

The University of Hawaii at Manoa is looking to help the environment and save on electricity costs by installing a solar power system on campus, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports.

The school estimates that it could cut its electricity bills by $500,000 over the next 25 years with the installation of a photovoltaic system on the roof of Sinclair Library. The 31.5-kilowatt system, which can produce enough energy to power approximately 135 homes annually, and its installation will cost the university $271,000, according to the news source.

These costs are just the first of many steps planned as part of the University of Hawaii's flagship campus' renewable energy undertaking. The school is planning to invest $35 million to increase its solar generating capacity to five megawatts in the coming years, which would account for 7 to 10 percent of the entire campus' energy needs.

Hoku Solar installed the 140 solar modules on the Sinclair Library roof, engineering the project to both prevent shading and reduce heat load.

According to The Associated Press, the U.S. Department of Energy recently presented more than $6.8 million in grants to Hawaii in support of two solar power projects. Roughly $6.1 million of that money will go to the University of Hawaii.

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