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HECO signs another deal to buy electricity from solar facility

Hawaiian Electric Co. said today it has signed its second agreement in two months to buy electricity from a planned photovoltaic solar power facility 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 five-megawatt facility 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 for Oahu issued under the Public Utilities Commission competitive bidding framework established in 2008. HECO would not disclose the price it is paying per kilowatt hour, but said is similar to what it agreed to pay IC Sunshine LLC, which is developing a five-megawatt PV farm in nearby Campbell Industrial Park. Both power purchase agreements are subject to approval by the Public Utilities Commission.

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.

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