By Kirk Matthews
Story Updated: Jan 20, 2009 at 5:47 PM HST
On Be Green 2, we feature a company that has invented a brand new solar technology – right here in Hawaii.
The company is called Sopogy and it’s building a 500 kilowatt project at the Natural Energy Laboratories of Hawaii in Kona. The proprietary technology is brand new.
“And what’s unique about our technology is we use mirrors to concentrate and intensify the energy of the sun to really make a more efficient solar solution.”
The idea is to use the sun’s heat in much the way solar panels are used to heat water for a residential system – – with one basic difference. The water temperature goes up to 400 degrees.
“Once we can get our temperatures to a level that high, that allows us to spin a turbine to create electrical power. So it’s taking the same basic premise as hot water heating but using it more efficiently because we use mirrors and lenses and what not.”
The Hawaii-based company has been developing this technology since 2002. Since then, it has been expanding.
“We’ve been deploying different technologies around the world ever since. We’ve got projects currently in the middle east, in Spain, California, Washington state. But our home, the company’s home, is here in Hawaii,” said Darren Kimura, President and CEO of Sopogy, Inc.
The solar farm could generate enough electricity to power hundreds of island homes. And it decreases our dependence on fossil fuels.
“In addition to that, it’s also very clean, it creates green jobs. Our company in the next ten years, is hoping to create several hundred green-collar jobs as we call them for people in Hawaii. And that’s just the projects in Hawaii.”
From here on, Kimura believes, the sky’s the limit when it comes to using renewable energy. “Moving our vehicles over to electric vehicles and really living an energy-efficient electric lifestyle that comes from renewable energy resources like geothermal, wind and concentrating solar power.”