What is Solar Power?

Solar power is a clean, abundant and versatile renewable energy source. Solar energy is the sun’s energy converted into electrical or thermal energy. Sunlight or thermal energy from the sun can be used to produce electricity or heat water for residential, commercial and industrial uses.

Benefits of Solar Energy

Solar energy contributes to a cleaner environment by reducing the amount of fossil fuels used to produce electricity. Solar energy can also help reduce electrical usage and electricity bills.

How Solar Works

Photovoltaic (PV) systems, which can be rooftop or utility scale, convert sunlight into electricity by using solar energy to induce the electrons in semiconductors to travel through an electrical circuit and send electricity to the grid or electrical devices.

The electrical output varies depending on the time of day and weather conditions. On cloudy days, the power level drops, and at night, no electricity is generated.

Solar Heating & Cooling (SHC) technologies collect the sun’s heat energy and use it to create hot water or to heat or cool spaces.

Waihonu Solar Farm

Waihonu Solar Farm is now part of the Hawaii Gas 'ohana.

In keeping with its commitment to doing its part to help the State reach its 100% renewable goal for power generation by 2045, Hawaii Gas added the Waihonu Solar Farm to its ‘ohana in August 2016.

Waihonu Solar Farm and Hawaii Gas are both subsidiaries ofMacquarie Infrastructure Company (NYSE: MIC), which partnered with Hawaii Gas and invested $6 million to acquire the solar farm.

Waihonu Solar Farm is comprised of two solar farms that generate a total of 6.5 megawatts of electricity.

  • Waihonu Solar Farm is the largest active solar farm on the island of O‘ahu as of August 25, 2016.
  • Waihonu North LLC generates 5.0 megawatts, and Waihonu South LLC generates 1.5 megawatts.
  • The combined 6.5 megawatts have the ability to power about 1,000 homes.
  • Waihonu Solar Farm consists of 26,232 solar modules and 13 inverters.

Waihonu Solar Farm delivers renewable power to Hawaiian Electric Company.

Waihonu Solar Farm is contracted to sell electricity to Hawaiian Electric Company under a power purchase agreement.

The direct current (DC) electricity generated by the solar panels at Waihonu Solar Farm is converted by onsite inverters to alternative current (AC) electricity for use by Hawaii Electric’s customers via the electric utility’s grid.

Waihonu Solar Farm uniquely integrates farming and solar technology

Waihonu Solar Farm’s landscaping program uniquely incorporates sheep grazing under the solar panels, reducing dust from traditional grass-cutting, that can lower solar panel efficiency.

Waihonu Solar Farm is situated on 12 acres of the privately owned 143-acre campus of Honbushin International Center at 95-030 Waihonu Street, Mililani, Hawai‘i 96789. The overall campus includes farmland and was historically used by Dole plantation for growing pineapple.

Source: Solar Energy Industries Association