Categorized | Energy

State snags $6M grant funding for energy projects

MEDIA RELEASE

Gov. Linda Lingle has announced the Department of Business Economic Development and Tourism, Department of Hawaiian Home Lands and Department of Accounting and General Services will conduct energy efficiency and renewable projects funded by more than $6 million in Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) funds from the U.S. Department of Energy.

This is part of the economic stimulus American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) passed by Congress earlier this year.

DHHL will utilize $3 million through its Hoomaluo Energy Policy program, which outlines five key objectives to achieving healthy, self-sufficient and thriving communities.

DHHL plans to upgrade the energy efficiency of about 400 homestead homes with solar water heaters and compact fluorescent lamps.

“This will help reduce household electricity bills for our homesteaders by about 30 percent per year, or five barrels of oil per year per household,” said Kaulana Park, DHHL chairman. “In August, DHHL signed a formal energy partnership charter with Hawaiian Electric companies that will benefit native Hawaiian homesteaders and support Hawaii’s clean energy goals through the development of affordable, energy self-sufficient and sustainable communities.”

In addition, $3 million will go to DAGS to install photovoltaics on state buildings as part of its statewide energy savings performance contract.

“We estimate that each 100 kW photovoltaic system will generate about 167,446 kWh of electricity, and a cumulative reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of at least 320,120 pounds in carbon dioxide equivalents per year,” said Comptroller Russ Saito. “This will enhance our already aggressive solar energy commitment and our ongoing work to make state buildings more energy efficient.”

Earlier this month, DAGS awarded a contract for the State Capital District, Energy Savings Performance Contracting project to Noresco, LLC an energy services company.

The project includes energy efficiency improvements to 10 State office buildings within the State Capital District, including the State Capitol, that comprise more than 1.3 million square feet of building space.

The State Capital District project is expected to save more than 6.3 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year, reducing utility bills by 30 percent, which equals approximately $3.2 million per year in operational savings.

The planned energy projects are part of the state’s continuing efforts to make state office buildings and facilities more energy efficient in order to reduce electricity costs and decrease Hawaii’s dependence on imported fossil fuels.

“The effort is an important component of the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, which aims to have 70 percent of Hawaii’s energy come from clean sources by the year 2030, including 40 percent from renewable energy and 30 percent through energy efficient measures,” said DBEDT Director Theodore E. Liu. “We are engaged in both energy conservation and energy conversion efforts to make our state truly ‘Hawaii Powered’.”

“The Departments of Hawaiian Home Lands, Accounting and General Services and Business, Economic Development and Tourism are continuing to lead by example in the State’s pursuit of increasing energy security and independence for Hawaii,” Lingle said. “These clean energy projects further support our five-point plan to stimulate Hawaii’s economy and create jobs by attracting investments in renewable energy and maximizing federal funding and partnerships for clean energy initiatives.”

Using DBEDT’s latest job multiplier, the total energy and conservation block grant for Hawaii will generate about 124 direct and indirect local construction jobs, and add $5.7 million in direct and indirect income to Hawaii’s economy.

One Response to “State snags $6M grant funding for energy projects”

  1. Nancy says:

    Increasing the energy efficiency of state buildings and native homes certainly is worthwhile. The question for Hawaii, and indeed every other state, is what can you do to stimulate innovative thinking about energy technologies in your state? Dissemination of existing technologies is very good, but innovation is what will make this country great again.

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