We now have the largest renewable energy developer in the world settling into the islands. I'm Paula Akana… I'm Yunji de Nies… The impact on Hawaii's green energy will be DIRECT! KITV4's Catherine Cruz joins us with info on some large- scale solar projects… The 2.4 billion dolllar deal between Sun Edison/ First Wind just closed yesterday. The green energy giant has five projects already in the pipeline here on Oahu and chances are you may not have heard much about them. Expect to see those big solar farms with thousands of solar panels coming to a neighborhood near you. – Flint Okahara 2: 11- Mililani resident -"Basically if that brings the rates down I dont mind that would be good, cheaper for everybody in the islands," You can see large scale solar projects popping up across the country as communities move to wean them selves off fossil fuel.
California is where one Wahiawa resident recalled seeing them. – 4:36 – 4:42 Nestor Decierdo Wahiawa resident -"Larger flater areas like in the boonies or deserts .I never seen them close to the freeways before," – UPPER 29:46 – 29:53one of the largest solar farms will be in Central Oahu in Waipio just off the H2. It will cover more than 300 acres of land," Sun Edison/ First wind 's development director says some 200,000 solar panals will cover about a third of the land. 17: 13- 17:21 -"The advantage of the large solar projects is that everyone on oahu benefits not just the homeowner who has a system on the roof" The merger will see not just solar projects in Waipio, but Waiawa, Mililiani and Kawailoa on the North Shore. – 27: 52 -22:01 -We are hoping there are economies of scale so we can get a beter price on panels racking and other equipment" After seeing the First winds windmills on the north shore, some resident are wondering what a massive solar farm will do to view planes. 12:23- 12: 39 -"I will be difficult to see nearby.
You won't see it as you are driving by from the freeway You may be seeing it as you come in on the freeway from from Mililani You may be able to see it from far away but you won't see it up close," And there's one other side bar to solar–and its sheep. yes you heard right sheep! – Rwen Wescoatt 8:12- 8: -"We will have ranchers who will be running sheep in the area and moving them around .That's really a dual benefit for energy project, the sheep keep the grass down, so the weeds dont get high that you shade the project and you wont get as much energy production," The promise of big savings, and a dual benefit as solar moves into agricutural land that now lays fallow. To give you an idea of what to expect when it comes to sheep our cameras are set to take you to a sheep farm next week.
If you're wondering why we are hearing about these big solar projects all of a sudden. The deadline for big federal tax credits expires at the end of next year, and the farms need to be up and running by then. So the race is on to get the necessary permits and approvals — is on. Back to you. And Hawaiian Electric company has just unveiled a new online system that allows customers and developers to check the status of planned wind and solar projects. The online tool– called Integrated Interconnection Queues– lists projects at every stage in the process so applicants have a way of knowing where their project stands in line. Maui Electric Company AND Hawaii Electric LIGHT Company customers can also access this online.