In 1991, the first of two 69-kilovolt transmission lines to carry the geothermal power to the Hawaii Electric Light grid was completed. And, on August 8, 1992, Hawaii Electric Light's newest 20-megawatt combustion turbine, CT-3, located at the Puna Power Plant, began providing critically needed power to customers.
In mid-December of 1995, technicians completed installation and testing of an innovative photovoltaic demonstration project. PV panels, covering about one-third of the rooftop, were installed at the Kailua-Kona gymnasium. The project was one of 13 PV projects nationwide, partly funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, to help demonstrate and commercialize the use of solar electric technology. Hawaii Electric Light also teamed up with Hawaii County on the project to further the development of renewable energy on the Big Island. Other team members include New World Power Corp., PowerLightCorp., Renewable energy Services, Inc. Powers Electric, and M&M Pacific.
The gymnasium project, one of several in Hawaii Electric Light's PV program provided information to help evaluate commercial scale solar systems. Large-scale PV systems can help lower bills for commercial businesses or produce additional power to supplement Big Island power resources.