POSTED: 03:57 p.m. HST, Aug 16, 2011
Maui County said it will significantly cut its power bill with the installation of photovoltaic panels on 25 government buildings.
The county awarded two contracts to teams of bidders to supply a minimum of 2.15 megawatts of generating capacity. The project developers will own the PV systems and sell the electricity to the county over the next 20 years at a rate that is about half what the county is paying Maui Electric Co.
Barring any interconnection issues with MECO the county expects at least 1,000 PV panels can be installed before the end of the year. The county hopes to install more than 8,000 panels over the lifetime of the project.
The county will pay 14.7 cents per kilowatt hour under the larger of the two contracts with an annual 2.5 percent escalator that will boost the rate to 23.5 cents per kilowatt hour after 20 years. The average price will be 18.5 cents per kilowatt hour over the life of the contract.