Castle & Cooke to Build Hawai`i's Largest Solar Farm on Lana`i
LANA`I CITY, Hawaii, Jun. 6, 2007 /BUSINESS WIRE/ -- Castle & Cooke, Inc. today announced that it has signed a contract through its subsidiary, Lana`i Sustainability Research, LLC, to build the largest solar photovoltaic farm in Hawai`i and the fourth largest in the United States. The 1.5-megawatt solar farm will be built on a 10-acre site in south Lana`i by SunPower Corp. (Nasdaq:SPWR - News), a Silicon Valley-based manufacturer of high-efficiency, commercially available solar cells, solar panels and solar systems. It is expected to produce enough solar energy to supply up to 30 percent of the island's electric demand by using the most advanced technology. This state of the art solar farm helps pave the way for Hawai'i to become a leader in the production of renewable energy.
"The time to move forward with renewable energy is now!" stated David H. Murdock, chairman and owner of Castle & Cooke, Inc. "Castle & Cooke is uniquely positioned on Lana`i to move forward to quickly meet - and exceed - the state's mandate of 20 percent sustainability by 2020. With the support of the state and the counties, this agreement to build Hawai`i's largest solar farm is just the first step of our plans for renewable, sustainable energy."
The solar farm is one of several alternative energy projects that Castle & Cooke is pursuing on Lana`i. The company is moving forward with plans for wind energy and growing feedstock for bio fuels. These projects will help to achieve the state's mandated renewable energy goals.
The proposed site of the 10-acre solar farm is in the Palawai Basin, about two miles south of the Maui Electric Company (MECO) power plant. The area is flat and faces south, an ideal location for capturing the maximum amount of the sun's light.
"We've discussed our solar farm with Maui County officials, and in light of the major need and desire for non-polluting renewable energy, we are asking for expeditious approvals to bring the system on as soon as possible. We are excited about the prospect of eliminating the pollutants created by burning carbon-based fuels," added Murdock.
"We are very excited about Castle & Cooke's significant investment in alternative energy within our state. I am also extremely pleased about their use of innovative technology, which is very much in line with our Administration's goals to move Hawai`i forward towards energy independence," said Governor Linda Lingle.
The project will use SunPower Tracker technology, which features an innovative single-axis design that enables the solar panels to automatically follow the path of the sun throughout the day. This advanced tracking system will significantly increase energy capture by more than 500,000 kilowatt hours annually.
"We applaud Castle & Cooke's vision and commitment to use clean, renewable solar power," said Howard Wenger, vice president of Global Business Units for SunPower. "Hawai`i offers an ideal environment for solar power and, with this major project, Castle & Cooke is taking a leadership role in helping the state achieve its renewable energy goals."
"This project will add 14.4 percent to the installed electric generating capacity on Lana`i and its day-time duty is expected to provide up to 30 percent of the island's power demand," noted Maui Mayor Charmaine Tavares. "This clean, renewable energy project will replace the equivalent of 202,400 gallons of diesel fuel, thereby avoiding 4.5 million pounds of global-warming carbon dioxide emission in Maui County annually.
Castle & Cooke is in the process of negotiating a power purchase agreement with MECO to provide the solar power to Lana`i's community through MECO's electrical grid. "Maui Electric Company fully supports the installation of renewable energy sources and Lana'i's unique location will create a model for future projects," said Ed Reinhardt, president of MECO.
About Castle & Cooke
Castle & Cooke, Inc. and its affiliated companies have operations in more than 24 states. The company's diversified businesses include the development and ownership of real estate, leasing of transportation equipment, manufacture of brick and building materials, and ownership of public warehouses. The company's real estate developments include master planned communities such as Mililani Town on the island of O`ahu, Lake Sherwood in Thousand Oaks, Calif., Seven Oaks in Bakersfield, Calif., and Keene's Pointe in Orlando, Fla.
SunPower Corp. (Nasdaq:SPWR - News) designs, manufactures and markets high-performance solar electric technology worldwide. The company's high-efficiency solar cells and panels generate up to 50 percent more power per unit area than conventional solar technologies and have a uniquely attractive, all-black appearance. For more information, please visit the SunPower Web site at http://www.sunpowercorp.com. SunPower is a majority-owned subsidiary of Cypress Semiconductor Corp. (NYSE:CY
Lanai Sustainability Research, LLC
Tim Hill, 808-565-3820
Executive Vice President
Castle & Cooke Hawaii
Kathy Best, 808-548-3786
Community Relations Manager