The University of Hawai'i has started installing a 4.5 kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic (PV) panel system on one of its towers at Manoa Shidler College of Business over the winter break. The solar panel system is expected to generate around 24 kW of power per day. The new system includes a web-based monitoring system that will allow students, faculty and the general public to monitor solar power, reduced emissions and environmental statistics on a daily basis.

Power generated from solar system is enough to operate courtyard lights for an entire night.

According to V Vance Roley, Dean of the Shidler College of Business, We are committed to alternative energy solutions to meet the University of Hawai‘i’s overall goal of generating 25% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.

The system has the environmental impact of preventing 9,323 lbs of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere for a year, which is equivalent to reducing 11,188 miles of auto driving.

This installation marks a significant change in advancing our sustainability in the future, said Roley. It’s not only about being a good corporate citizen; it also makes good business sense. All of the little things we do to reduce energy cost and waste can really add up and save us money in the future. It also feels great that we are doing our part in reducing harmful gas emissions and combating global warming.

The $50,000 system, donated by Hawai‘i real estate investor and entrepreneur Jay Shidler, is the first to be installed at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa.

Jay Shidler and the Shidler College of Business should be commended for advancing UH Manoa toward energy sustainability through the installation of a photovoltaic system, said UH Manoa chancellor Virginia Hinshaw. As a research university, UH Manoa must lead in generating and testing advances in sustainability, as well as contributing to the overall UH initiative to reduce waste, recycle materials and use alternative energy technology to lessen the impact on our environment. There is much we must do in this area for the benefit of current and future generations – we are grateful for Jay Shidler’s support in moving us forward.

In Hawai‘i, a daily average of 5.5 hours of quality sunlight is enough to power the system. The system is low maintenance and produces clean, sustainable energy with no carbon emissions or pollution. It should be up and running by early spring semester.