Gilligan's Island Gets a Solar Makeover from SolarCity
New Solar System on Coconut Island Expected to Save University of Hawai'i More Than $2 Million on Utility Bills
COCONUT ISLAND, Hawaii--The scenic island made famous by the popular 1960s television series Gilligan's Island is going solar: Coconut Island, or Moku o Lo'e, is home to the Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology of the University of Hawai'i, which recently signed a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with SolarCity to provide the island's marine biology institute with renewable solar electricity for the next 20 years. SolarCity will provide University of Hawai'i with solar electricity at a discount to current utility rates, easing budget uncertainties from fluctuating electricity rates. PPAs for renewable energy are gaining popularity in Hawai‘i, where abundant sunshine makes them a natural fit for utilizing clean energy.
SolarCity has begun to install a series of photovoltaic (PV) solar systems on the rooftops of buildings housing the University's Marine Biology Institute. The solar systems will consist of solar panels with approximately 260 kilowatts (kW) of generation capacity, providing a significant portion of the Institute's energy needs.
"By giving organizations the ability to pay less for solar electricity than they pay for electricity generated by fossil fuels, we're making clean power more accessible," said Jon Yoshimura, director of government affairs for SolarCity. "The University of Hawaii is setting an example for other educational institutions by taking a forward-thinking approach to its energy needs while shifting the school to homegrown solar electricity."
SolarCity, a leading provider of clean energy services, operates in Hawai'i from a local office in Mililani and offers an end-to-end customer experience by providing custom design, free installation, online monitoring, and maintenance throughout the duration of the PPA.
This project is an important step for the University toward developing and demonstrating solutions for the challenges of the 21st century. Tom Apple, chancellor of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, said, "This is an important step towards our goal of having 25 percent of campus-wide energy use supplied by renewable sources by the year 2020."
SolarCity®—a national leader in clean energy services—provides homeowners, business and government organizations cleaner, more affordable alternatives to their utility bills. The company makes it simple for customers to lock in lower, long-term rates for clean energy by providing everything from permitting and installation to ongoing monitoring and maintenance. Additional information about the company is available on the Web at www.solarcity.com.