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SolarCity Expands To Second Island In Hawai‘i

A Solar City residential installation in Hawai'i (Solar City)

America’s #1 full-service solar provider and a national pioneer in solar panel leasing and zero-down financing, SolarCity, has expanded to Hawai‘i Island—the “Big Island,” the largest island in the United States and the southernmost point in the country—with its launch of a permanent 6,300-square-foot operations center in the tourist mecca of Kona, on the western side of the island. Residents of this island currently pay some of the highest electricity rates in the state and in the nation. SolarCity now ranks as one of the top solar installers in the island state in terms of kilowatts of power capacity. Others include Sunrun, Sunetric, and Island Pacific Energy.

SolarCity has already started providing clean solar energy to its first 100 customers on Hawai‘i Island. Through a partnership with the Hawai‘i Department of Transportation, SolarCity has also completed a solar power system at the Kona International Airport. Across the volcanic interior, Hilo, on the east side, is the county seat and largest city on the island. In 2012, a typical solar system in Hawai’i paid for itself in only 4 years and returned a profit over 4 times the cost during its warranted life.

The Kona ops center will be the company’s second in the state of Hawai‘i. Its first opened three years ago in Mililani, O‘ahu, located centrally between O‘ahu’s two volcanic mountain ranges, about 16 miles north of Honolulu. Less than 10 years ago, Money Magazine named Mililani one of the best places to live in the United States.

Said Jon Yoshimura, director of policy and electricity markets at SolarCity:

This was the next sensible step for SolarCity, as we expand our facilities and resources to provide clean energy to Hawai‘i Island customers. We look forward to establishing a strong relationship with the community and increasing our business within the residential and commercial sectors on Hawai‘i Island.

The center includes a storage facility, warehouse, and business office. It currently employs 12 people, and SolarCity expects to double that number in 2014. The expansion will enable residents on Hawai‘i Island to save by paying much less for clean solar electricity than they currently pay for utility power.

From the company’s public relations office:

SolarCity provides Hawai‘i homeowners, business, and government organizations cleaner, more affordable alternatives to their utility bills from its local operations centers in Mililani and Kona. It handles everything needed for various sizes of solar projects, including engineering, permits, installation, and ongoing performance monitoring. The company offers solar power, energy efficiency and electric vehicle services, and makes clean energy easy by taking care of everything from design and permitting to monitoring and maintenance.

As noted above, SolarCity first launched clean energy services in Hawai‘i in 2011. The company is currently hiring. Additional information about Solar City’s operations in Hawai‘i is available here or on Facebook or Twitter.

 Image: a SolarCity residential installation in Hawai’i, via SolarCity

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covers environmental, health, renewable and conventional energy, and climate change news. She's currently on the climate beat for Important Media, having attended last year's COP20 in Lima Peru. Sandy has also worked for groundbreaking environmental consultants and a Fortune 100 health care firm. She writes for several weblogs and attributes her modest success to an "indelible habit of poking around to satisfy my own curiosity."


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