‘Lot’ of power

Chevron Corp. has built the state’s largest “solar canopy,” a 414-kilowatt photovoltaic system positioned over 177 parking spaces at Oceanic Time Warner’s headquarters in Mililani.

The canopy will provide shade for the cars of customers and employees at the Oceanic complex and generate — along with a rooftop photovoltaic system — 20 percent of the facility’s energy needs.

The project is part of a growing trend among businesses in Hawaii to cut their energy costs by installing solar generation systems that provide electricity at a fixed rate for less than they pay their utility. Businesses can either finance the cost of the systems themselves or work with a third party that pays the upfront costs and sells the electricity back to the business under a power purchase agreement.

Chevron Energy Solutions, a unit of Chevron Corp., built the Oceanic Time Warner PV system. When the rooftop and parking canopy are combined, the system has a generating capacity of 856 kilowatts.

The system is owned by San Francisco-based Tioga Energy, which will sell the electricity to the cable company at a fixed rate over 20 years. The rate is less that what Oceanic had been paying Hawaiian Electric Co. for the same amount of power.

“This project helps to provide budget for our energy costs and the opportunity to use renewable power,” said Norman Santos vice president of operations for Oceanic.