The Moloka’i General Hospital, on the island of Moloka’i in Hawai’i, will be using solar-generated electricity to power part of its operations.

The 105.48 kW-sized rooftop system, the largest photovoltaic plant on the island, was built and financed at no capital cost to the hospital through a solar Power Purchase Agreement partnership with Solar Power Partners of Mill Valley, CA., who develops, owns, and operates solar energy facilities throughout the continental United States and Hawai’i.

ProVision Solar, based in Hilo, designed and installed the system using high efficiency SunPower Corporation 315-watt photovoltaic modules and SunPower’s self-ballasted T5 hardware.

A solar Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) is an arrangement where the hospital pays only for the electricity produced by the system at a pre-determined rate over the life of the contract. The PPA ensures that a portion of their energy bill will be predictable and stable.

This is particularly advantageous in Hawai’i and especially on Moloka’i, which typically has some of the highest electric rates in the nation.

“We are very excited to embrace green technologies and save money in the process,” said Randy Lite, Vice President of the Moloka’i General Hospital.

“Due to our non-profit status and not being able to take advantage of the State and Federal tax credits for alternative energy installations, it was very difficult to economically justify a solar application at our facility.

This power purchase agreement has made it possible for us to reduce our carbon footprint, and electric bills at the same time with no out of pocket costs for installation. The installation process was painless and we look forward to a long relationship with Solar Power Partners and ProVision Solar.”

Moloka’i General Hospital, part of the Queen’s Health Systems, is a 15-bed Critical Access Hospital with the only emergency room for the 7,000 residents and visitors on the island of Moloka’i.

The solar array will produce about a quarter of the hospital’s electricity needs or an estimated 170,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of clean energy in the first year of operation, which is equivalent to removing the annual emissions from almost 14,000 gallons of gasoline.

“We’re pleased to include Moloka’i General Hospital in our growing portfolio of both medical facility solar projects and projects in the Hawaiian Islands,” said Bob Powell, President and CEO of Solar Power Partners.

“Medical facilities are excellent examples of large-energy use customers. This project demonstrates how an institution can rely on electric energy from a plentiful and reliable source in the islands – the sun – and enjoy stable energy rates.”

Marco Mangelsdorf, ProVision Solar’s president, had nothing but praise in working with the hospital’s staff over the course of the project.

“We could not have asked for a better partner. The entire MGH crew was nothing short of fantastic and we’re proud to have played a part in bringing more renewable energy to the Friendly Isle.”

Solar Power Partners owns and operates two other medical facility solar systems, as well as a solar project on the roof of the Maui Economic Development Board’s facilities in Kihei.

The system at Moloka’i General Hospital is part of SPP’s efforts to bring renewable energy to more commercial customers in the Aloha State. SPP is actively developing other projects in the islands, with their recent $215 million in project funding allowing the possibility of more projects into their portfolio.

Source: Solar Daily.