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Business briefs

For Wednesday, March 23, 2011

By Star-Advertiser Staff and News Services


HECO signs another power pact

Hawaiian Electric Co. said yesterday it has signed its second agreement in two months to buy electricity from a planned photovoltaic solar farm in West Oahu.

The power purchase agreement calls for HECO to buy the power at a fixed price over 20 years from SunPower Corp., which is building a 5-megawatt solar farm on 40 acres of land in Kalaeloa owned by the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.

The SunPower agreement is a result of HECO's request for proposals for renewable energy proj­ects on Oahu issued under the state Public Utilities Commission competitive bidding framework established in 2008. HECO would not disclose the exact price it will pay for the electricity, but said it is less than the 23.6 cents per kilowatt-hour that has been proposed for large-scale producers of solar power under the utility's so-called feed-in tariff program.

The PUC last fall approved the FIT program for small- and medium-size producers of alternative energy but has yet to finalize terms for large-scale producers.

HECO also said the price is similar to what it agreed to pay IC Sunshine LLC, which is developing a 5-megawatt PV farm in nearby Campbell Industrial Park. Both power purchase agreements are subject to PUC approval.

At least two other companies are planning solar power facilities in Campbell Industrial Park.

Hoku Solar Inc. is moving ahead with a 1.4-megawatt photovoltaic proj­ect in Campbell Industrial Park, while Sopogy is pursuing a 4-megawatt concentrated solar proj­ect.

SMS Research spins off division

Honolulu-based SMS Research & Marketing Serv­ices Inc. has spun off its consulting division, SMS Consulting, into a separate company majority owned by the division's president, Faith Rex.

"The consulting division has achieved the financial and market success that provides the new company with an excellent growth platform," said Hersh Singer, chairman of SMS Research & Marketing.

SMS Consulting LLC qualifies as a majority Hawaiian-owned and woman-owned business, and will continue to be affiliated with SMS Research.

CNN wins ratings with Japan coverage

CNN has been the big ratings gainer among the cable news networks during the extensive coverage of events in Japan and Libya in the last two weeks, and that success has come mostly at the expense of MSNBC, which has fallen into third place almost across the board because of CNN's surge. The disparity has been most noticeable during the last two weekends, when CNN has attracted huge audiences with continuing coverage of the international crises, beating even Fox News, the perennial leader among the news channels.

Fed pays government $79.3B

WASHINGTON >> The Federal Reserve is paying a rec­ord $79.3 billion to the U.S. government after the central bank earned a rec­ord amount last year from programs aimed at boosting the economy. The Fed says its payment to the Treasury Department for 2010 is 67 percent higher than $47.4 billion it paid in 2009, the previous rec­ord. The central bank earned a rec­ord $81.7 billion last year from securities that were purchased to help stabilize the financial system.

On the Move

The Queen’s Medical Center named Andrea Fleig as director of office of research and development. She was previously an interim director for office of research and development as well as associate of director of research for QMC’s biomedical research.


Benchmark Hospitality International named Danna Holck as general manager for Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu. She held numerous general manager and executive-level positions at various resort destinations throughout the United States..


Prudential Locations has hired four real estate agents:

>> Shirley Judge is returning to the company after a stint at Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties. She started her real estate career with Prudential Locations in 1990.

>> Evan Miyaki was previously working for Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties and has more than 25 years of customer serv­ice experience.

>> Kathleen Takemoto has 26 years of real estate experience, including working for Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties.

>> Lee Wang was previously working at Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties as well as in the education industry. 

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