Parker Ranch (Kamuela, HI) and PowerLight Corp. (Berkeley, CA) announced what they claim is the world's largest hybrid solar-wind energy power project. Designed and managed by PowerLight, the installation is located in Waimean pastures in Hawaii and incorporates photovoltaic and wind technologies. The project covers approximately two acres and generates most of the power required for the ranch's water pumping operations.
Parker Ranch's solar-wind system generates 175kW of photovoltaic power and 50kW of wind power. The ranch will be equipped with PowerLight's PowerTracker solar electric system, a ground-mounted system that rotates its solar panels to follow the sun from east to west. Parker Ranch reports that the money saved from reduced utility bills more than covers the amortized cost of the system. Over the life of the project, the system will produce enough clean power to avoid the use of 30,000 barrels of imported oil.
"By harnessing the natural energy of the sun and wind, Parker Ranch will be contributing to Hawaii's energy solution and conserving natural resources," commented Carl A Carlson, Jr., president of Parker Ranch. "Thanks to PowerLight's technology and this unique generation project, we'll realize significant cost savings in our utility bills."