Darren Kimura – Hawaii Venture Capital Association
The Hawaii Venture Capital Association on Thursday presented its 2012 “Deal of the Year” award to Darren Kimura, the founder and CEO of a Honolulu-based company that pioneered the concept of micro-concentrated solar power systems.
Kimura’s Sopogy Inc. has deployed its technology at facilities in Japan, Thailand, Singapore, the Philippines, Mexico and Papua New Guinea. The company’s MicroCSP systems use mirrored troughs to generate heat that can be used in a wide array of applications, including power generation and air conditioning
Sopogy has pioneered the concept of MicroCSP(tm) using its mirrored concentrating solar thermal solar collectors to create high quality thermal heat. This heat is used in the industrial process and as solar steam. The International Energy Agency has estimated that only 17% of final energy consumption is for electricity while 47% of final energy consumption is in the generation of thermal energy. Sopogy’s technologies are poised to capture the thermal energy market by harnessing the power of the sun. Sopogy’s thermal energy is the fuel for stable, renewable process heat and solar steam. Please visit www.sopogy.com for more information.
10 to Watch: Hawaii business leaders face risks and rewards in 2013
Pacific Business News
Date: Friday, January 4, 2013, 2:48pm HST – Last Modified: Friday, January 4, 2013, 3:07pm HST
The new year will bring huge risks — and potentially big rewards — for the companies and causes supported by these Hawaii leaders. That’s why we call them our 2013 10 to Watch.
The 10 to Watch includes leaders from two public companies — Hawaiian Electric Industries (NYSE: HE) and Royal Hawaiian Orchards (Other OTC: NNUTU); public agencies including the Honolulu Authority for Rapid Transportation and the Foreign Trade Zone; the University of Hawaii; the state’s largest hospital, The Queen’s Medical Center; a solar energy firm on the verge of going public; Hawaii’s public television station, PBS Hawaii; a technology accelerator; and the agency charged with getting the state’s first health insurance exchange up and running this fall.
When Sopogy boss Darren Kimura advises you to “watch your hand on that pipe, it gets hot real quick,” he’s not kidding. The pipe in question is being instantly and effectively heated by something 93 million miles away.
Enough solar radiation hits Earth in an hour to power our energy needs for a year. That’s easy to believe when you’re on the burningly hot roof of Sopogy’s office at Honolulu International Airport. It’s equally easy to admire the glinting elegance of the parabolic SopoHelios solar collector that will soon form part of an array powering the whole building’s air conditioning system.
Manually tipping the demonstration collector’s aluminum trough into a light-catching angle instantly casts an ethereal silver light onto the center tube, which contains a heat transfer liquid. Functioning units automatically track the sun. Heated liquid can be transferred into heating units or used to generate energy for industrial scale applications like air con or desalination plants.
Big Sopogy installations are already running in California, Mexico, Texas, and Abu Dhabi. There’s a 2-megawatt installation on the Big Island, but even that will soon be eclipsed by Hawaii’s biggest Concentrating Solar Power project with storage, a 9,520-panel array on O’ahu generating a hefty 5Mw.
The real beauty of the lightweight SopoHelios unit is in its appeal to smaller industrial, commercial, or utilities markets that can benefit from the economics enjoyed by large solar power stations. The collector’s “build as you grow” design eases the flow of finance and permits for these users. Not many are needed, either: it takes fewer than 10 to power up a 10-ton air con system.
It’s a wonderfully elegant, multi-award-winning solution – and it’s all done with mirrors. www.sopogy.com
Take away tips, inside perspectives and formulas to help your business thrive! Our guest speakers this year is John Dean – President and CEO of Central Pacific Bank, Kim Gennaula – President and Chief Professional Officer of Aloha United Way, and Darren Kimura – President and Chief Executive Officer of Sopogy.
After over a year (yes over 1 year!!!) of working with Mitsui Principal Investment, a Private Equity firm from Japan to complete due diligence, I’m elated to announce that we have finally closed our Series E financing! This financing infuses new capital and support into Sopogy thus enabling us to grow. Participating in this round included SunEdison, Sempra Energy, 3M and others. In total, the Series E is a $21 million financing.
The due diligence process was the most challenging our team has ever faced. In this process we completed a KPMG accounting review, Q&E technology and project review, intellectual property review, +80 due diligence calls, 7-face to face meetings in California, Hawaii and Tokyo, 5-customer interviews, on-site review of our China manufacturing plant, extensive review of the Kona demonstration plant and our technologies in operation at “Holaniku” and a supply chain review.
Under the terms of this financing, our board changes significantly and I want to extend my utmost gratitude to Mike May, Eric Martinson and Rose Tseng. You have been amazingly supportive of our business and excellent mentors and guides for me personally.
The new investors want to see us expand our corporate presence in California and bringing on new project management resources to help professionalize our supply chain. Our entire leadership team must also move to California.
Sopogy is at an exciting point today. We have massive projects in Thailand and the Philippines. We are expanding our relationship with Hitachi and building a relationship with Toshiba and Anheuser Busch.
The investors share a vision to grow the company and give us new resources. I believe we are all excited to make Sopogy stronger and continue our growth and leadership in concentrating solar power.
Darren Kimura, chief executive of Sopogy, shows how his technology uses the Big Island’s abundant sunshine to return electricity to the power grid. Solar power is now so popular that Hawaii’s utilities worry about damage from excess electricity pumped back into their systems. (Alana Semuels / Los Angeles Times)
Dirty energy has created a world of Dirty Weather. Today, climate disruption affects us all. And it will take all of us together to solve it. Join us for 24 Hours of Reality: The Dirty Weather Report, when together we will stand up and demand real solutions to the climate crisis.
Join us on November 14 for 24 Hours of Reality: The Dirty Weather Report. Broadcast live on the Internet, it’s an event that anyone can attend. And it’s your chance to join millions around the world to demand real solutions.
Taking place over 24 hours, this event will put a spotlight on every region of the globe — featuring news, voices, and multimedia content across all 24 time zones. Every hour will be different. You’ll hear from experts, musicians, comedians, and everyday people about the impacts of climate change on their lives and homes.
Clean Energy in Hawaii
Al Gore, Founder and Chairman, The Climate Reality Project
Brian Schatz, Lt. Governor, State of Hawaii
Darren Kimura, President and CEO, Sopogy
On October 30th, 2012 HREDV hosted a Cleantech Innovation Showcase recognizing the achievements of the companies supported by HREDV. The companies spoke of their accomplishments and described how the support of HREDV has factored into the growth of their business. The event concluded with a keynote address by U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye.
HREDV would like to thank the Senator and his staff, the Lieutenant Governor Brian Schatz and his staff, our Showcase host Referentia, and everyone who attended this event! We are honored to share in the dedication and success of people working together towards achieving Hawai`i’s clean energy goals.