Controversy aside, the Gemini Observatory atop Mauna Kea on the Big Island can now boast as having the second-highest solar panels in the world. The panels, installed by Maui Pacific Solar, will be capable of providing about 10 percent of the power at the Gemini Observatory.
The installation of the panels on the telescope’s roof was completed earlier this month. Maui Pacific Solar expects the panels to be connected to the electrical grid within the next few weeks.
“The PV panels [on Mauna Kea] are the second-highest in the world by about 200 feet,” said Maui Pacific Solar Founder and President Mike Carroll. “The highest are in Tibet.”
Because of the extreme elevation, Gemini officials said the panels will be 70 percent more effective than those that will be installed at its base facility in Hilo.
The telescope is located at the summit of Mauna Kea, wich is nearly 14,000 feet above sea level.
Photo courtesy of Maui Pacific Solar