Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, the largest and most successful aerial tour company in Hawaii, has installed a solar power system on the roofs of its two Operations Center buildings at the Maui Heliport. The Blue Hawaiian array consists of 432 panels providing 102 kw of power, which handles, on average, 90 percent of Blue Hawaiian's electrical requirements on Maui.
"In the 27 years since we founded Blue Hawaiian," states CEO David Chevalier, "we have always worked hard to be on the leading edge of our industry, while doing all we can to preserve Hawaii's environment. We spent four years helping American Eurocopter develop the 21st century Eco-Star helicopter, which is not only far more fuel efficient, but results in 50 percent less noise on the ground. That's why we're so excited about our new solar system. It continues our commitment to sustaining Hawaii's delicate ecology and being responsible corporate citizens."
The Blue Hawaiian photo-voltaic system was designed and engineered with the professional collaboration of Haleakala Solar, Maui's leader in solar systems since 1977 and one of the most enduring solar companies in the United States.
Jim Whitcomb, president of Haleakala Solar, looks back on the project's challenges: "Blue Hawaiian presented us with substantial energy requirements, especially given their FAA Certified Service Center which draws power for mechanical and maintenance equipment, compressors, electric tools, and sophisticated devices like a state-of-the-art flight simulator. In addition, their two Operations Center buildings are fully air conditioned and contain extensive computer networks, interior display enhancements, guest services, water features, and so on. Not only were we able to work with Blue to create an ideal solution, but we also incorporated an automatic washing system that keeps the panels running at peak efficiency."
About Blue Hawaiian Helicopters
Blue Hawaiian Helicopters, according to National Geographic, is "Hawaii's premiere helicopter tour company." Blue was founded in 1985 and, with operations on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and two locations on the Big Island, has grown to be the largest air tour operator in the state. Every year since 1998, Blue has been awarded the FAA's coveted "Diamond Certificate of Excellence"; has received the "Star Diamond Award for Outstanding Quality" every year since 1995.
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