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MILILANI, Hawaii, Oct. 23, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SolarCity® (Nasdaq:SCTY) today announced it has been selected by Hawaiian Electric Company to build a 15-megawatt photovoltaic system to provide clean energy to O'ahu residents. The 50-acre project will be constructed on undeveloped land at the Kahe Generating Station, subject to PUC approval. SolarCity, with local operations in Mililani, was selected through a competitive procurement process to construct the project, which will be owned and operated by Hawaiian Electric.
"We are committed to building a better energy future for Hawai'i. This is a unique opportunity to make a difference for all of our customers because it allows us to quickly develop more low-cost clean energy," said Ron Cox, Hawaiian Electric vice president of power supply.
Based on Hawaiian Electric's preliminary estimates and current fuel costs, the project, over its lifespan, would reduce the overall cost of generating electricity on O'ahu by $64 million while displacing approximately 1.8 million gallons of oil per year.
"Hawaiian Electric's project is living proof that solar power can protect Hawai'i's environment and strengthen its economy at the same time by providing clean energy less expensively than power generated from fossil fuels," said Jon Yoshimura, SolarCity's regional director in Hawai'i. "The SolarCity team in Mililani is honored to be selected for this project, and we're excited to work with Hawaiian Electric to deliver more clean, homegrown energy to O'ahu residents."
Pending regulatory approval and the completion of necessary environmental and cultural reviews, the system is expected to be operational by the end of 2015. The project is planned to directly connect with the grid through Hawaiian Electric's 46,000-volt sub-transmission system, without impacting residential or commercial customers who wish to install PV systems on their rooftops, which connect through Hawaiian Electric's 12,000-volt distribution system.
The project with Hawaiian Electric would be SolarCity's second utility-scale project in the state. SolarCity previously announced that it has been selected by Kaua'i Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) to build a 14-megawatt (MW) DC (12MW AC) solar facility on 67 acres near the town of Kōloa.