A Big Island company and two state departments are among the latest recipients of the Governor’s Innovation Awards for their ingenuity and commitment to developing creative ways for Hawaii to meet the challenges of the 21st century.
The winners – for March and April – have developed innovative solutions to address pressing issues facing Hawaii, invented and implemented new technologies with worldwide applications, and contributed to the creation of a stronger economic future for the state.
“It is important to highlight the innovation that is happening daily in Hawaii and across all sectors, as this is a quality we need to promote and cultivate in order for Hawaii and its people to compete successfully in the global economy,” said Gov. Linda Lingle. “These award winners are noteworthy for taking steps to protect and conserve our precious natural resources, diversify our economy and increase Hawaii residents’ quality of life.”
Among the Governor’s Innovation Award recipients are:
* April Innovation by an Organization: Keahole Solar Power (KSP)
KSP is a Hawaii-based solar project and technology developer. Using different solar technologies, including MicroCSP from Sopogy (a September 2008 Innovation Award winner), KSP is developing new proprietary methods for energy storage, installation and operation for solar farms that will help Hawaii reduce its dependence on imported fossil fuels. KSP’s pilot project at the Natural Energy Laboratories of Hawaii in Kona uses MicroCSP solar collectors and KSP’s own thermal energy storage and utility scale controls and software.
* March Innovation in Government: Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT)
DBEDT was recently honored with a 2009 Hawaii Green Business Award for certifying the State Office Tower as a U.S. EPA Energy Star Building, which puts it in the top 25 percent of comparable buildings for energy efficiency. As part of this initiative, approximately 1,700 32-watt fluorescent lamps and ballasts were removed, for energy savings of 167,930 kilowatt-hours, or more than $30,000, a year. In addition, 16 ultra low-flow urinals were installed, which have conserved water and cut costs by 87 percent. DBEDT was also recognized for offering training to all state employees on “green purchasing” and waste reduction.
* April Innovation in Government: Department of Accounting and General Services (DAGS), Central Services Division
DAGS Central Services Division was also honored with a 2009 Hawaii Green Business Award for implementing several water conservation and energy efficiency measures at DAGS-operated state buildings. These steps include the removal of about 11,000 fluorescent lamps in common areas, for a savings of 29,333 kilowatts; the installation of occupancy sensors to control lighting in areas that are not always occupied, for an estimated savings of 113,300 kilowatt-hours per year; and the installation of moisture sensors that prevent automatic irrigation when grass and other landscaped areas are already wet.
Lingle initiated the Governor’s Innovation Award last year to acknowledge and encourage innovation across all sectors statewide. The awards, which are presented monthly, recognize deserving individuals, companies, nonprofits, organizations and government agencies that are developing innovative products, services and processes.
The award is part of the Lingle-Aiona Administration’s Hawaii Innovation Initiative, a comprehensive plan to transform Hawaii’s economy from one dependent on land development to one that builds on human ingenuity and the ability of Hawaii’s people to innovate.
The Governor’s Innovation Award nominees are evaluated monthly by a 15-member selection panel comprised of industry, education and government representatives statewide.
Nominations are submitted online and are judged on creativity; effectiveness in achieving a goal or purpose; transferability and adoptability by others; and significance in addressing an important local or global issue, problem or opportunity.
The selection committee provides final recommendations to Lingle for her selection.
For additional information or to submit a nomination, visit www.hawaii.gov/gov/innovation-….