The World's Largest Hybrid-Photovoltaic / Wind Energy System Now Operational in Hawaii

Incorporating advanced photovoltaic and wind technologies, Parker Ranch's hybrid installation leverages renewable energy sources round the clock to generate most of the power required for the ranch's water pumping operations.

Published: 16-Mar-2001

BERKELEY, Calif., and KAMUELA, Hawaii, March 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Parker Ranch, a 225,000-acre cattle ranch (one of the largest ranches in U.S.) and PowerLight Corporation, the nation's leading designer, manufacturer and installer of grid-connected commercial solar electric systems, today announced the world's largest hybrid solar-wind energy power project. Designed and managed by PowerLight, this installation on Waimean pasturelands harnesses the clean, natural energy of both the sun and the wind to deliver reliable energy at peak demand times. Incorporating advanced photovoltaic and wind technologies, Parker Ranch's hybrid installation leverages renewable energy sources round the clock to generate most of the power required for the ranch's water pumping operations.

"By harnessing the natural energy of the sun and wind, Parker Ranch will be contributing to Hawaii's energy solution and conserving natural resources," said Carl A. Carlson Jr., President of Parker Ranch Inc. "Thanks to PowerLight's technology and this unique energy generation project, we'll realize significant cost savings in our utility bills."

"We're proud to be the creator of the world's largest hybrid solar energy project on Parker Ranch lands," said John Crouch, Director of Pacific Region Operations for PowerLight Corporation. "Today's businesses are faced with considerable energy challenges: rising costs of traditional energy sources, limited supplies and environmental pressures. We realize that businesses are looking for a better, more sustainable approach to securing a safe and reliable energy supply. Hawaii and Parker Ranch are blessed with exceptional renewable energy resources. Thanks to this new project, Parker Ranch can generate its own power efficiently and cost-effectively."

Covering approximately two acres, this hybrid project generates 175 kW of photovoltaic power and 50 kW of wind power. Parker Ranch will be equipped with PowerLight's PowerTracker solar electric system -- this ground mounted system rotates its solar panels to follow the sun from east to west, generating the maximum energy possible. Additionally, five wind turbines were assembled to assist with the power generating process. On any given day, the combination of sun and wind provides enough energy to run all the pumps delivering drinking water to Parker Ranch's livestock in the Mauna Kea, Mana and Keamuku grazing areas. Money saved from reduced utility bills more than covers the amortized cost of the solar energy water pumping system.

Over the life of the project, this system will produce enough clean power to avoid the use of 30,000 barrels of imported oil -- this will spare Hawaii's environment from thousands of pounds of harmful emissions including NOx, SOx and CO2.

About Parker Ranch

Parker Ranch is one of the largest and most historic cattle ranches in the country, spreading over 225,000 acres across the Big Island of Hawaii. It surrounds the town of Waimea and spreads between the Kohala and Mauna Kea mountains. The net income of Parker Ranch goes to the Parker Ranch Foundation Trust for the benefit of four local charities: North Hawaii Community Hospital, Hawaii Preparatory Academy, Parker School Trust and Hawaii Community Foundation.

About PowerLight

PowerLight Corporation ( www.powerlight.com ) is the nation's leading designer, manufacturer and installer of grid-connected commercial solar electric systems. Founded in 1991, PowerLight's products deliver reliable, affordable, clean power for commercial customers throughout the US and worldwide. Last year, INC. Magazine ranked PowerLight among the top 200 fastest growing privately held companies in the US.

SOURCE Parker Ranch & PowerLight Corporation

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