Five buildings at US Navy base Pearl Harbor, known now as the Joint base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, in Oahu, Hawaii are in the midst of a US$15 million project, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Intended to increase the base’s energy independence by using renewable energy, a combined 2.4MW solar array has been installed using SolarWorld panels, which include its crystalline silicon technology, and is spread across five buildings at the historic base.
DRI Energy has engineered, procured and installed the solar systems, working under a contract with Hawaii-based Niking, and expects the solar arrays to deliver 3.4GW of electricity every year. Installation sites include a 250kW system at the Bachelor Enlisted Quarters, a 109kW installation at the headquarters building for two major commands, an 852kW system at the Navy Exchange shopping center, an 813kW array at the Navy Commissary and a 378kW installation at a distribution facility and furniture retail outlet associated with the Navy Exchange.
Although the installation for the solar panels has been finalized, the array’s final commissioning is not expected to happen until this fall due to the need to configure the associated electrical systems. Kevin Kilkelly, president of SolarWorld Americas, commented, “It’s gratifying for them to know that the high-quality products they have labored so long to perfect and produce now help power one of the best-known U.S. historical and military sites. In that light, these projects may be the best signs yet of the nation’s embrace of domestic solar technology.”