Reporter- Pacific Business News
Hawaiian Telcom plans to install 7.5 megawatts of rooftop solar energy on 78 of its facilities across Hawaii to lower its electricity costs, and Hawaii solar contractors Sunetric and TSWG Solar have been chosen to work on the project, according to public records.
Kailua-based Sunetric will handle the installation part and TSWG Solar will provide financing.
Under the terms negotiated, TSWG, which is led by Larry Gilbert and Michael Fergus, will enter into a power purchase agreement and master lease agreement with Hawaiian Telcom for a 25-year term on 78 sites, including 33 on Oahu, 24 on the Big Island, 11 on Maui and 10 on Kauai, a recent filing with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission said.
The project installations will be done in phases with phase one consisting of the Oahu sites starting by June 30.
A second phase is currently being planned to involve up to 33 sites on various islands.
Future phases will depend on specific site conditions, electric utility renewable energy saturation levels on circuits serving the site and the continued availability of tax credits to TSWG.
Based on Hawaiian Electric Co.’s effective electric rates as of March 1, it is anticipated that Hawaiian Telcom (Nasdaq: HCOM) will see an immediate reduction in its monthly bill for the sites in the first phase.
The reduction in electricity charges at each of the sites where solar energy systems are installed on Oahu, the Big Island, Maui and Kauai, when compared to the local electric utilities’ rates, is expected to continue throughout the term of the power purchase agreement.
Since the agreement’s energy rate will be the same regardless of the location of the systems, the energy savings will be even greater on the Neighbor Islands, as those rates have consistently been higher than on Oahu.
Duane Shimogawa covers energy, real estate and economic development for Pacific Business News.