Doling out power at Hawaii’s most famous pineapple plantation
Oahu’s second-most visited tourist stop showcases the rich history of pineapples in Hawaii at the Dole Plantation. Visitors are also treated to a new attraction during train tours: getting an up-close view of the historic plantation’s recently commissioned solar system.
The 187 kW (DC) system is spread over seven ground-mounted arrays, producing an estimated 287,000 kWh annually. The largest electrical load on the plantation sits 700 feet from the solar system and is fed 208V power from five Sunny Tripower 20000TL-US inverters using a step-down transformer.
An additional three Sunny Boy 8000TL-US inverters, working in 208V, power an alternate utility interconnection while a single Sunny Boy 6000TL-US provides 240V power for a third on-site interconnection. The inverters work with a 1.5-to-1 DC:AC ratio, maximizing production for the Hawaiian Electric Company’s 100 kW net metering program. REC Solar chose the variety of SMA inverters for the dependability across each product platform and range of sizes to ensure optimal system output for its customer.
The system’s DC power comes from 746 Hanwha 250-watt modules mounted true-south on Snap-N-Rack Series 350 racking. Draker revenue-grade meters keep tabs on production for the 19,320 square-foot system.
The complex site, with multiple utility interconnections at varying voltages, proved to be worth the effort for REC Solar, which designed and installed the showcase system. REC was committed to working efficiently with the Dole Plantation project to minimalize disruptions to guests while educating plantation staff on the benefits of solar to help inquisitive guests during the famed train tours.
A plantation spokesperson put it best, saying, “…because we host more than 1 million visitors each year, we look forward to the opportunity to help educate both the local and off–island Dole Plantation visitors about clean energy and its role in both the current practice and future of agriculture…” to the Pacific Business News shortly after the install was complete.
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