The panel array sits on 1.3 acres of Cyanotech’s 90-acre microalgae farm, and will produce 1,147,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each year, which Cyanotech will purchase under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). The energy production is sufficient to power the entire farm’s production during daylight hours, and will reduce Cyanotech’s electricity costs by 10 percent.
“Environmental stewardship is a key tenet of Cyanotech’s corporate mission," said Gerry Cysewski, PhD., chief science officer, executive vice president and co-founder of Cyanotech. “We are currently able to keep our carbon footprint down because our microalgae use carbon dioxide. The solar array will further reduce our greenhouse emissions and costs, making it a win-win for our bottom line and the environment."
Power costs on Hawaii Island are the most expensive in the country. By not using 1,147,000 kilowatt hours of standard petroleum-based electricity, Cyanotech will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 791 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, which is equivalent to the annual greenhouse emissions of gas from 167 passenger vehicles.
In 2011, Cyanotech increased its production to meet a huge increase in demand for astaxanthin.