An official “Flip the Switch” ceremony and Hawaiian blessing was held today to mark the completion of more than 4,300 solar panels installed at the Pearl City Solar Energy Facility. Capable of generating 1.23 megawatts of electricity, it is now the newest and largest utility-scale solar photovoltaic project on O’ahu.
This project marks the fourth utility-scale solar facility that developer Forest City Hawaii has completed in Honolulu, making it one of the largest renewable-energy developers and owners in the state.
At today’s ceremony, Jennifer Sabas, chief of staff for U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, praised the project’s vision, and Governor Neil Abercrombie commended the project for advancing the state’s clean energy goals. These sentiments were echoed by other event attendees, including Jerrod Schreck, president of Hoku Solar, and Connie Lau, president and CEO of Hawaiian Electric Industries, chairman of Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc. and chairman of American Savings Bank.
“Forest City Hawaii is proud to be at the forefront of sustainable development initiatives that improve the lives of Hawaii residents,” said Jon Wallenstrom, president of Forest City Hawaii. “We are grateful to bring clean energy to the Navy families who serve our country with honor and commitment and who are so important to the State of Hawaii and to Forest City.”
Rear Adm. Frank Ponds, commander, Navy Region Hawaii and Naval Surface Group Middle Pacific, spoke about embracing innovation while preserving history, maintaining force readiness while achieving greater sustainability, and becoming less dependent on imported oil.
“Today, we are flipping the switch to a brighter future, and we are switching to clean energy. The time has come to move away from foreign oil and other fossil fuels wherever we can. This is another example of the Navy leading — with our partners and friends — in energy security,” Ponds said.
Pono Shim, president and CEO of Enterprise Honolulu, the O‘ahu Economic Development Board,performed the Hawaiian blessing. This was followed by a ceremonial “flipping of the switch,” showcasing the electric power that is being generated by the sun to power approximately 150 to 250 Navy homes each year.
Forest City Hawaii says it is able to leverage its real estate experience to create renewable energy projects that help offset the high cost of energy in Hawaii, while also decreasing the state’s dependence on fossil fuels. To date, Forest City Hawaii owns and operates four utility-scale solar projects on O‘ahu: Pearl City Peninsula Solar Energy Facility (1.23 megawatts), Kapolei Sustainable Energy Park (1.18 megawatts), Twelker Solar Farm (0.60 megawatts) in West O‘ahu, and Phan Solar Farm (0.57 megawatts) in West O‘ahu.
Two additional utility-scale solar projects are scheduled to be completed in West O‘ahu by the end of December 2012.
Forest City Hawaii, a subsidiary of Forest City Enterprises, is one of Hawaii’s biggest residential community developers and is nearing completion on the development of more than 6,700 homes for Navy and Marine families on Oahu and Kauai. The company is also developing Kamakana Villages at Keahuolu, a 272-acre, master-planned community on the Big Island in partnership with the State Housing Finance and Development Corporation. Up to 2,330 homes will be built, of which half will be at County affordable levels.
About Forest City Hawaii
Forest City Enterprises, Inc. is an NYSE-listed national real estate company with $10.7 billion in total assets. The company is principally engaged in the ownership, development, management and acquisition of commercial and residential real estate and land throughout the United States. For more information, visit www.forestcity.net.