Posts Tagged ‘Kauai’

4 December

Hurray For Kaua’i & KIUC-part I

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

KIUC (Kaua'i Island Utility Cooperative)'s 12 MW solar panels on the day of the dedication, Sep. 25, 2014

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It is with tremendous awe and admiration that Sun Is The Future team took the trip and video recorded the Koloa Solar Dedication ceremony at Kauai, HI, on September 25, 2014. We found out that by Jan. of 2015, 80% of the peak daytime power demand at Kaua’i will be met by  solar energy and 22% of the daily average will be met by renewable energy. KIUC (Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative) is definitely leading the way on planet earth in our transition toward Renewable Energy Age! This is especially  impressive given the fact that Hawaii is the most fossil fuel dependent state in USA. Realizing that 50% of its total economy comes from tourism and military and the finite nature of fossil fuel, Hawaii actively tries to relieve its dependence from oil so to be less vulnerable to the fluctuation in oil prices and availability. This is mainly accomplished through various goals and roadmaps set by Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative.

KIUC Team, beaming with pride, of their 12 MW installations

KIUC Communication Manager Jim Kelly (L) & Kumu Sabra Kauka (R) for dedication & blessing

Founder/Editor of Sun Is The Future, Susan Sun Nunamaker, signing solar panel at the KIUC dedication

KIUC Power Supply Manager Brad Rockwell (R) & Sun Is The Future Technical Analyst Michael Nunamaker (L) at the dedication ceremony

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

During the dedication ceremony, Allan A. Smith (Chairman of the Board of KIUC) welcomed every one. Then remarks were made by:David Bissell (President and CEO of KIUC), Tulsi Gabbard (U.S. House of Representatives), Bernard Carvalho Jr. (Mayor of County of Kaua’i), Hermina Morita (Chair of Hawai’i Public Utility Commission), Sheldon Petersen (CEO of National Rural Utilities Cooperative Finance Corporation), Peter Rive (Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of SolarCity), Mike Gabbard (Hawai’i State Senate), Wanda Kau-Shibata (Kaua’i Representative), and Gov. Neil Abercrombie.  Dedication and blessing was made by Kuma Sabra Kauka. It is easy to see the love, respect, care, and reverence the people of Kaua’l have for their land, resources, and energy.

This 12 MW, $40 million solar array project is the largest solar array in HI. Contractor is Solar City and Landowner is Grove Farm. It contains 45,360 panels and started in Nov., 2013. The project will displace 1.7 million gallons of oil annually, eliminate 35,000 tons of emissions annually, and will generate enough energy to power 4,000 homes. It is a key part of KIUC’s strategy to use renewable resources to generate at least 50% of the island’s energy by 2023. KIUC is also making sure that there is a diverse portfolio of renewable energy, utilizing not just the solar power, but also wind- , biomass, and hydro- power.

It is wonderful to see Senator Mike Gabbard’s of Hawaii (Chairman of the U.S. Senate Energy & Environment Committee for the past six years)’s excitement for this solar installation. It is understandable how Kaua’i and state of HI are able to arrive at the Solar Heaven ahead of all other states, surpassing its Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative of 2008 (goal of achieving 70% clean energy by 2030 with 30% from efficiency measures and 40% coming from locally generated renewable sources). But currently HI is at 18% renewable energy state-wide (the first bench mark for 2015 had a goal of 15% renewable energy). Of the 18% renewable energy: on the Big Island, 48.1%  from renewables; on Maui, 29.1%; Kaua’i, 18.8%; Ouaha, 11.7%.

Yes, HI is going strong with solar and other renewable energies not only because Hawaiians or residents of Kaua’i are blessed with sunshine but because of their utility such as KIUC is continually looking for ways to collaborate and encourage their state legislators to move toward Renewable Energy. Most importantly, Kaua’i is blessed with island residents who aim to live in harmony and spirit of conservation with Mother Nature. Thumb up for KIUC! Hip! Hip! Hurray for Kaua’i and KIUC! We hope all other states in USA will look toward KIUC for their shining example during our earthly transition toward a Renewable and Clean Energy Future.

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, posted, and uploaded by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker and filmed by Michael Nunamaker

More related posts:

1. A Chat With KIUC On The Solar Paradise of Kaua’i

2. Kauai Is Going Strong With Solar in 2012-Be Empowered by Going Solar

3. Kauai Leading The Way For Solar In Hawaii

Any of your questions/comments/suggestions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

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19 June

Community Solar resources!

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links below)
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Updates on our Solar-FIT For Sunshine State petition: 165 signatures strong. We need more! Please help us to spread more sunshine by signing this petition and sharing it with others. It is our shared responsibility to move toward the renewable energy age and Sunshine is the cleanest, healthiest, and least war-prone way to go!
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For the spirit of community, I’d like to share some information and resources making it possible for communities to come together to plant solar garden/farm/ program. Below you will find information on federal, state legislation, and tax-related resources.

  1. Community Solar: Power and Ownership for You and Me (IREC, Interstate Renewable Energy Council)
  2. IREC Releases Community Solar Energy Guidelines (GetSolar.com)
  3. Community Solar Farm (Wikipedia)
  4. Vote Solar (votesolar.org)
  5. DSIRE
  6. Shared Renewables HQ
  7. IREC Model Program Rules for Shared Renewables
  8. DC SUN (DC Solar United Neighborhoods) has been working hard to make solar affordable and accessible to every resident of DC. A summary and full text of the bill is available online here.

Let’s take a look at a community solar program in Arizona in the video, below :


Be sure to also check out previous 2 posts (June 18, & 17, 2013) of www.sunisthefuture.net, also on community solar garden/farm/institute.

~have a bright and sunny day~

gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

any questions or suggestions will be welcomed publicly below in the comment box or privately via sunisthefuture@gmail.com (be sure to note if you do not want the email to be shared).

Homepage:  http://www.sunisthefuture.net

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6 April

A Chat With KIUC On The Solar Paradise of Kauai/Residents of Kauai Are Blessed With Sunshine And KIUC

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Dear Friends, Visitors/Viewers/Readers,

(Please click on red links below)

Remember the Island of Kauai (Kaua’i) of Hawaii featured in two of our posts in 2012 (March 29, March 30) where more than seventy Hollywood movies and  TV shows had been filmed ? I want to take you to this Garden Isle again not just for its idyllic scenery and laid back pace of life, but to learn from the experience of this island’s utility cooperative, KIUC (Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative), in integrating solar into their grid.

The day we arrived, during our drive to the hotel, I’ve noticed that there had been significant increase in residential and commercial solar PV and solar thermal on the island compared to previous year.

Residential solar installations across the street from Kaua’i Community College, 2013

More residential solar at Kauai (Kaua’i)

More Residential/Commercial solar at Kauai (Kaua’i) 2013

Commercial solar at a dentist’s office at Kauai (Kaua’i), 2013

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks to Jim Kelly, the Communications Manager of KIUC, for introducing us to Mr. Brad Rockwell. Below is an interview with power supply manager, Mr. Brad Rockwell, of KIUC (Kaua’i Island Utility Cooperative).

As of March, 2013, the Island of Kaua’i (of Hawaii) is one of the world’s leaders in per capita Solar PV (soon to be the #1 after the completion of its next solar installation project). In the past few years, several important renewable energy projects moved from the planning and permitting stage to  construction and installation. Alexander & Baldwin began construction on its 6-megawatt photovoltaic system at Port Allen, coupled with a new 3-megawatt battery storage system installed by KIUC. A 1.5-megawatt battery storage system was installed in Koloa to capture power generated by PV systems.

 

6-MW solar PV system at Port Allen

In Anahola, KIUC and the Homestead Community Development Corporation were awarded the contract to build Kauai’s largest photovoltaic system, a 12-megawatt photovoltaic project currently under reviewing process and is scheduled to begin this year.

Even though during recent decades, Kauai (Kaua’i) had been heavily dependent on fossil fuel for its energy use; record shows that in 2007, 95% of its energy use came from oil and 5% from renewables (no utility scale solar). The beautiful island of Kauai had a history of using biomass and hydropower for its energy consumption. As early as of 1980’s, about 50% of Kauai island’s energy/electricity use was through renewables by burning bagasse (residues of sugar cane). As sugar cane ran out and oil became cheaper, burning fossil fuel/oil became the main source of energy on the island. As the cost of oil becomes more and more expensive, with the plentiful sunshine on this tropical island, and the desire to preserve the island environment as clean and pristine as possible for future generations, incorporating solar energy seems to be the natural choice. There has been significant progress/incorporation made toward renewable/solar energy;currently 85% of energy use on the island is from oil and 15% from renewables. KIUC has a large solar plant under construction by the end of year 2013 and another biomass plant currently under construction. Within two years, KIUC is projecting to be at 60% from oil/40% from renewables level. Specifically for solar, about 2% of KIUC’s current energy supply comes from solar (whereas CA has about 0.3% of its supply from solar). On any given day, about 20-25% of the energy demand at Kauai is met by solar. KIUC has about 14.5-15 MW of solar on the grid right now during normal daytime demand of 60 MW (peak demand is about 72 MW after the sun goes down).  In 2015, after completion of the two 12 MW solar plants, KIUC will be expecting to meet more than 50% of its energy daytime load (any day) by solar.

There had been dramatically more solar installations (residential and commercial) on Kauai island in recent years because of the incentives from Federal Tax Credit (residential/commercial) of 30% of the total expenses, State Tax Credit for solar thermal system (lesser of 35% of overall costs or $2250, $350/unit, $250,000 depending on if it is single family residency/multi-family residency/commercial), and solar water heating loan and rebate program with KIUC (teamed up with Kauai Community Federal Credit Union and Kauai County Housing Agency offering a 0% interest loan, repayment on a 60 monthly payback schedule). More detailed information on various incentives available to Kauai island or Hawaii may be found at: http://www.dasolar.com/energytaxcredit-rebates-grants/hawaii The capping on state tax credit is around $5000 per system, with 5 KW as the defining cap (2 systems with one being 2 KW and another being 3 KW is defined as one system) per system to avoid confusion. Lastly, I also found out about the Schedule Q (equivalent of the FIT (Feed-In-Tariff)) available to any energy producer at Kauai in selling excess energy to KIUC.

Customer generated power (Schedule Q or FIT (Feed-In-Tariff) is in effect!)

On the large-scale, utility side, the initial motive force driving KIUC into action in developing the first utility scale solar project was due to  Section 1603, Tax Grant at the federal level (http://www.treasury.gov/initiatives/recovery/Pages/1603.aspx), qualifying for the Safe Harbor provision where 5% of the project value had to be spent by end of 2011.

Some of the concerns regarding integrating solar into the grid were discussed:

  1. Firstly, the concern for solar penetration per circuit: where some mainland utility may set a 15% threshold penetration for/in solar, KIUC at Kauai has a circuit with 100% penetration on clear days. There does not appear to be any need to set a limit on solar penetration. This fact appears to be supported by another research result on High Penetration Projects in the US, by Ben Kroposki, PhD., PE of NREL at http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/solar/newsletter/pdfs/08_highpenetrationprojectsintheus_benjaminkroposki.pdf Another good source via US Department of Energy for high solar penetration through Sunshot Initiative
  2. Second concern is regarding the ramp rates: for example, a Puerto Rico utility with 0.5 MW per  minute movement limit would translate into requiring solar developer to have the appropriately sized battery storage capacity to meet that ramp rate. KIUC, with 60 MW demand during the day, has been able to handle 8-9 MW per minute without significant impact on frequency.

For a closer look at KIUC’s “On the Road to Renewables” 2011 Annual Report (<-click).

With the quadrupled cost of oil and the fact that KIUC is a cooperative welcoming renewables, in addition to federal and state incentives and Schedule Q (equivalent of Feed-In-Tariff), these are all reasons driving residents and KIUC toward the renewable/solar energy. We will look forward to 2015, the day when KIUC will be meeting 50% of its day time energy demand via solar, and to 2023 when KIUC will be meeting 50% of all of its energy demand via solar. Residents at Kauai are fortunate to have such a wonderful utility cooperative looking out for their interest. Let the sun shine upon this beautiful garden isle, forever be benefiting from trade wind and remaining pristine, free from pollution….

~have a bright and sunny day~

interviewed, written, photographed and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker, video filmed by Michael Nunamaker

any of your questions/comments/suggestions will be welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Homepage: http://www.sunisthefuture.net

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31 March

Learn About Solar Energy-It Is The Way of the Future!

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Dear Readers,

(Please click onred linksbelow)

If you are in favor of renewable,  clean, or solar energy, please sign this petition for FIT/CLEAN Program, accessible at http://sunisthefuture.net/?page_id=1065 Thank you very much.
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Dear Readers and Friends,

During my week at Kauai, outside of the 1.21 MW ground mounted PV system on 5 acres on windward side of Kauai and solar panels on top of the roofs of Kauai Community College, I did not see as many solar installations as I hoped/expected, given its plentiful sunshine and all of the terrific incentives mentioned in March 30, 2012,  post of http://sunisthefuture.net .  So, in this post, I’d like to share one more factor/method to help reduce the cost of acquiring solar PV for individuals or businesses in Kauai, hoping this will help to encourage more people in Kauai to think of installing solar .

I understand that part of the cost of installing solar panels/PV is the actual installation.   Some/many people may feel that this is still a rather new technology and may shy away from considering installing/maintaining the equipment themselves/yourselves or even considering getting it.  So, now I would like to ask you, residents of Kauai and/or Hawaii, to consider taking some training courses locally to gain some understanding of what/how you may benefit from such installations.  Case in point, Kauai Community College has offered a course, Solar Photovoltaic Entry Level-Understanding Photovoltaic System Design Basics.  This course will cover: PV markets and applications;safety basics;electricity basics;solar energy fundamentals;PV module fundamentals;system components;PV system sizing principles;PV system electrical design;PV system mechanical design; performance analysis, maintenance & troubleshooting.  Successful completion of this course will demonstrate that students achieved a basic knowledge of the fundamental principles of the design, application, installation and operation of grid-tied and stand-alone PV systems.  Below is the contact information and location of Kauai Community College:

Kaua’i Community College, Office of Continuing Education & Training, 3-1901 Kaumualii Hwy., Lihu’e, HI  96766.  For class registration: (808)245-8318  or  (808)245-8336

Kauai Community College-Can you see the solar panels on top of the roof?-Photographed by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Kauai Community College-Now you can really see those solar PV's-Photographed by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

 


 
If you prefer to take online courses/workshops to gain better understanding about the solar PV, there are more and more courses available at different levels coming online.  For example, the Solar Living Institute (at Ukiah, CA) offers solar training courses online, yearly internships, and hosts SolFest (the renewable energy festival that attracts more than 10,000 people each year).  Here is a short demo of how The Solar Living Institute offers professional solar training options from the comfort of your home.  This solar training course is highly interactive and is based on NABCEP (North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioner) learning objectives.  Check out this demo, below:


 

More on the Solar Living Institute in the next post at http://sunisthefuture.net

There are many routes in obtaining better understanding of solar energy and how we can transition into our world of renewable energy age.  Just look around !  Or, you can always email me at sunisthefuture@gmail.com .  I’d be happy to help you out.

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

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30 March

Kauai Is Going Strong With Solar in 2012-Be Empowered by Going Solar!

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Dear Readers,

(Please click onred linksbelow)

If you are in favor of renewable,  clean, or solar energy, please sign this petition for FIT/CLEAN Program, accessible at http://sunisthefuture.net/?page_id=1065 Thank you very much.
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Dear Readers and Friends,

Recalling the March 29, 2012 post in http://sunisthefuture.net , Kauai Leading the Way For Solar in Hawaii, there is further development of Kauai’s solar energy projects in 2012.  In January of this year, a 12 megawatt project, a joint venture between the island’s utility co-op and Homestead Community Development Corporation, was announced for the island. This project was awarded to REC Solar. “This coalition demonstrates the innovative spirit and concern for the environment that has made Hawaii home to the nation’s second highest installed solar capacity per capita, and we are excited to move this project forward.  Solar is bankable, proven way to grow KIUC’s (Kauai Island Utility Cooperative)’s renewable generation portfolio and meet the energy needs of Hawaii”, indicated by CEO of REC Solar.

This 12 megawatt project could potentially power about 8,000 homes or possibly 24,000 people (representing more than one third of the island’s permanent population) (estimate based on http://www.caiso.com/about/Pages/OurBusiness/UnderstandingtheISO/Understanding-electricity.aspx).  The operation of this solar plant will reduce imported oil consumption by almost 12,000 barrels per year, preventing the emissions of 567,000 pounds of NOx, SOx, and CO2 over its twenty year life.  For this tropical paradise where tourism accounts for a significant portion of the island’s revenue, preservation of its natural beauty and being free from pollution matter a great deal.  It is no wonder that there are tremendous incentives given/provided for residents of Hawaii/Kauai to go solar:  government may pay up to 55% for residential solar installation costs;government may pay up to 85% of commercial solar installation costs.  Please allow me to show you this island of paradise, Kauai, where natural beauty will more likely be preserved through replacement of fossil fuel by solar energy.

Jurassic Fall (where part of Jurassic Park was filmed) of Kauai, Photographed by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Sun shines through cloud of Kauai, Photographed by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Video clip of Kauai, below:
It’s no brainer, both financially and environmentally feasible, GO SOLAR!


~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

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29 March

Kauai Leading the Way For Solar in Hawaii

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Dear Readers,

(Please click onred linksbelow)

If you are in favor of renewable,  clean, or solar energy, please sign this petition for FIT/CLEAN Program, accessible at http://sunisthefuture.net/?page_id=1065 Thank you very much.
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Dear Friends & Readers,

Today, I want to take you to an island where more than seventy Hollywood movies and TV shows had been featured (including the musical  South Pacific,  television series Lilo & Stitch, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones’ Raiders of the Lost Ark, Six Days Seven Nights, the 2005 remake of King Kong, John Ford 1963 film Donovan’s Reef, Tropic Thunder, a scene in opening credit of popular TV show M*A*S*H (helicopter flying over mountain top), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, parts of the 2002 film Dragonfly, major parts of 1966 Elvis Presley film Paradise, Hawaiian Style, and the recently released The Descendants (featuring George Clooney as the lead actor), etc.  Now, do you have the name of the island at the tip of your tongue?  If you are thinking about the oldest and the fourth largest of the main Hawaiian Islands also known as the “Garden Isle”, then you are on the right track!  At about 105 miles (169 km) northwest of O’ahu, across the Kauai Channel, is the site of Waimea Canyon State Park, also known as the Kauai island of Hawaii.

Idyllic Garden Isle of Kauai, with swaying palms, mountains, beautiful clouds, and taro pond (Photographed by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

Beautiful sunset of Kauai (Photographed by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker)

I came and spent about a week at this Garden Isle, Kauai, not just for its idyllic scenery and laid back island pace of life, but also to visit its various solar installations, the largest system of its kind in the state of Hawaii. Hawaii’s imported energy costs are three times higher, and will soon to be close to  four times higher than the mainland.  With its tropical location providing lots of sunshine, it is no wonder that Hawaii has great  motivation to become one of the highest users of solar energy among our fifty states.  Currently Hawaii solar incentives include generous rebates for solar electric and solar hot water systems.  Combining with Federal solar rebates, the solar panel installations for residents and businesses in Hawaii would cost approximately 65% less.  Please refer to this link for Hawaii’s energy tax credit, solar rebates, and incentives.

Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) spends tens of millions of dollars for oil to power generators each year to make electricity for approximately 60,000 residents and tourists on the island.  When oil prices increase they have no option but to pay even more.  Generating electricity from clean and renewable sources make much better sense financially and environmentally.  In 2010-2011, REC Solar completed the designing, procuring, and managing the installation of a 1.21 MW ground mounted photovoltaic system on 5 acres of non-productive agricultural land above old Kapaa Town on the windward side of Kauai.  It was the largest system of its kind in the state of Hawaii and in Kauai at the time (2011).  Here is a video clip about this project, below:

The project partners KIUC and Kapaa  Solar LLC, who financed the system and negotiated a power purchased agreement (PPA) with KIUC.  “KIUC has long acknowledged that significant investments in additional renewable energy generation will be required for us to achieve our strategic goals of being 50 percent renewable by 2023,” said KIUC Acting President and CEO David Bissell.  “This first utility-scale solar farm on Kauai allows us the opportunity to determine and better understand the physical limitations of high penetration PV on a distribution circuit and to work through some specific technicalities associated with adding large scale intermittent renewables to our generation mix.”  The system will produce an estimated 1.8 gigawatt hours (GWh) of energy annually, enough energy to power close to 300 Kauai homes for one year. This solar system will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 40,000 tons throughout the first 30 years of the system’s life.  Please stay tuned in for  more on solar energy project in Kauai in the next post.

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

Any comments and suggestions are welcomed at sunisthefuture@gmail.com

Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics:

www.sunisthefuture.net

www.youtube.com/user/sunisthefuture

www.kiva.org/team/sunisthefuture

www.facebook.com/sunisthefuture

www.pinterest.com/sunisthefuture

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