Hawaii Airports to Save Millions Thanks to Greening

Ashley Nault - Feb 24, 2014
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Hawaiiairports recently announced plans for substantial greening of local airports that would result in energy usage cut by about 49%. The energy efficiency program of the Department of Travel Airports Division (DOT) was revealed by Neil Abercrombie, Honolulu’s Governor. The project including the modernization of Hawaiian airports with the latest green and energy efficient technology would help save $518 million over the next two decades. This will provide a high impact solution that has been part of the authorities’ plan to pursue a 70% clean energy use by 2030 for the whole Hawaii.

The governor said that the important upgrades at the Hawaii airports will go a long way to help the state achieve all its energy goals. He continued to say that the project was a long term investment that will bring down the energy costs at the airports by almost half.

This will in turn reduce the dependence on most of the imported energy sources offering savings on energy costs in the future as well as create employment opportunities that will help the economy.

The project includes replacing 74,500 light fixtures and 372 transformers. In their place 9,100 solar photovoltaic panels will be installed. It will also include replacement as well as upgrades of air conditioning systems and chilled water, smart control installation and deferred maintenance on things like roof repairs that will pave way to accommodate the planned upgrades.

The entire hawaii airports project will cost about $150 million and the contract was awarded to Johnson Controls after the state run a highly competitive procurement process for EPC (Energy Performance Contracting).

Glenn M. Okimoto, the director of DOT, echoed the governor’s statements saying that the vital project is part of the state’s vision and strategy to bring down the costs and at the same time enhance energy efficiency. He said that DOT would really make a huge impact taking into consideration that the airport systems in the state are the third largest consumers of electric power in Hawaii. Once complete, the project will serve as a model that other state agencies can emulate from as it will save the state millions of dollars.

Blue Planet Foundation CEO, Jeff Mikulina, said that energy efficiency is the state’s cheapest, fastest and cleanest clean energy resource. The company he is working for is at the forefront working to clear the clean energy path in Hawaii. He equated every kilowatt hour that would be avoided to less fossil fuel that would be imported and thus reducing the productivity. He also said that this would help to reduce carbon pollution that the state does not even export.

The project of greening the hawaii airports was spear headed by DOT Airports Division in conjunction with DBEDT (Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism). As a result of this, over 400 local jobs will be created and this will add about $670 million to economic development.

Ford Fuchigami, the deputy director of DOT for airports, affirmed that the successful EPC model will be used for the project. He said that the state could start enjoying the project in just two years when about $15.8 million will be saved.

Hawaii is the nation’s leader when it comes to EPC. It was honored with the national Race to the Top award for the second consecutive time. To date, the airport projects is considered the largest EPC initiative that has been introduced to the country.

As part of president’s Obama’s Climate Action Plan, Hawaii has also become a partner in the prestigious Contracting Accelerator Program that is under the Better Buildings Initiative, a leadership initiative that seeks to improve energy efficiency of plants and buildings to increase competitiveness and save money.

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