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Posted: Thursday, October 24th, 2013 10:24 AM HST

Hawaiian Electric proposes photovoltaic project

By Associated Press

HONOLULU (AP) Hawaiian Electric Co. wants sun power to replace fuel oil for producing electricity.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports the utility is seeking approval to build Hawaii's largest solar photovoltaic energy project.

The 15-megawatt facility is planned for 50 acres of undeveloped land next to the utility's Kahe Generating Station.

Utility officials estimate the facility would displace 1.8 million gallons of fuel oil annually at the Kahe plant and save ratepayers $64 million in reduced fuel costs over 30 years.

The utility has picked SolarCity to build the project, which needs approval from the Public Utilities Commission.

The utility has previously asked the commission to waive competitive bidding requirements for renewable energy projects on Oahu of more than 5 megawatts.

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