Star Advertiser –
By Nina Wu –
Entrepreneur Peter Savio announced today that he will build a solar farm on Oahu and sell off units of solar in a revolutionary manner – the same way he sells condominium units.
Savio, who formed Savio Solar Power Solutions as a division of Savio Realty, said the solar units will be affordable and available to anyone to purchase and own, including those who live in condominiums, townhomes and apartments, as well as to nonprofits, condo associations and businesses.
“The ownership is what I’m changing,” Savio told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. “It’s going to be a condo versus an LLC, a co-op, or a corporation. It’s going to be a condo, which local people understand.”
Savio said the solar farm will be built on approximately 25 acres out of 600 acres that he already owns on agricultural land in Waikele. He was originally planning a subdivision, but says this is “more important and pressing.”
He did not have specific details on the future solar farm’s output size, but said he expected to start small, and to hire a local solar company or several companies to build it.
So many solar projects are built by mainland companies, he said. This solar farm will be designed, built, and operated locally on Oahu.
“We’re testing the concept,” he said. “Right now people are nervous about solar companies, about the contract, about their roof, about everything. As soon as we make it a condo and everything’s local, they’re going to be more comfortable.”
Savio says a condominium style of ownership will be protected under Hawaii law and give owners control, as well as the ability to sell their solar units to another resident if moving, or give them to other family members. It will be easier to finance, he said.
“We’re making it so everyone in Hawaii can buy PV, so everyone can lower their electricity bills,” he said. “The solar moves with them because it’s tied to their electricity bill. When they die, they can give it away to their kids.”
Savio said he came up with the idea for selling solar units condo-style while sitting in on a lengthy, hours-long Honolulu City Council discussion via Zoom a few months ago.
Councilmembers were discussing how solar was not actually helping “the local guy,” he said, and Savio, who focuses on developing affordable housing projects, got a spark of inspiration.
This program will make solar ownership available to those who rent, as well as those living in multi-housing units who cannot install their own solar rooftop systems, and those who want to invest in solar, he said, with no money down required.
“Our program is all about opening the door so everyone can participate,” he said.
Savio said he was going to help the state reach its 100% renewables goal ahead of 2045.
“I want to get us there by 2030,” he said.
Although the project is still at least a year away, Savio is starting its community engagement process,.
Savio said his company will be transparent, and work collaboratively with multiple stakeholders by holding public co-design events every step of the way, from site selection to layout, equipment selection and benefit design.
A community advisory council will oversee equitable and culturally appropriate design. If this concept works, he said, he will consider expanding it to more acres of land.
Savio Solar Power Solutions is now taking non-binding, pre-registrations from those interested in the solar farm at SavioSolarPowerSolutions.com.