Hawaiian Solar Energy Project

I spent today hanging out on the outside deck at a coffee shop talking to one of my more bohemian friends.  He’s a guy who just doesn’t live in the same world as the rest of us.  He doesn’t believe in money; preferring to trade labor for whatever he needs and pretty much travels around the country sleeping in hostels and on strangers couches.  He just got back from Hawaii, where a great deal of his time apparently was spent walking around picking up cigarette butts and trash off of the beaches and streets just because it needed doing.  We talked about Polynesian culture and the high cost of living in paradise (I spent some time there back in the ’80s), and then I went home to find this article about Hawaii’s proposed solar energy plan. 

The project would involve adding up to 3.4 million square feet of solar panels on roofs and parking lots.  It would span 6 islands and generate a possible 34 megawatts of power.  They are still receiving bids but the widely distributed solar farm could be up and running within a couple of years.

The plan calls for a private business to fund the equipment and installation, then sell the power back under a 20 year contract.  After the 20 year period is up the state will have the option to purchase the equipment or negotiate a new contract for power purchase.