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Concentrated solar power farm to be built in Kalaeloa

Honolulu-based Sopogy Inc. broke ground yesterday on a renewable energy project in West Oahu that will generate electricity using the company’s proprietary concentrated solar power technology.

Sopogy will build the five-megawatt facility on land in Kalaeloa leased from the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands.

Sopogy’s technology features curved panels with reflective coating that direct sunlight onto a pipe carrying oil. The hot oil is carried to a boiler where it’s converted into steam that turns a turbine to generate electricity. Sopogy said its system also has built-in thermal storage that enables it to still supply electricity for short periods at night or during cloudy conditions.

Sopogy said a two-megawatt concentrated solar power project in Kona it has operated since March 2009 “demonstrates the effectiveness and reliability” of the technology.

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