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Hawai‘i’s Airports Going Green

March 6, 2014
Governor Neil Abercrombie , Maui Weekly

At Hawai'i's airports, an exciting program is underway that will propel our state forward in achieving Hawai'i's goal of 70 percent clean energy by the year 2030--30 percent from efficiency measures and 40 percent coming from locally generated renewable sources.

In December, the state Department of Transportation Airports Division entered into an innovative 20-year contract that will significantly cut energy use by 49 percent and save $518 million over the next two decades.

Using Energy Performance Contracting (EPC), energy use and associated costs will be dramatically reduced as DOT invests $150 million to replace 74,500 light fixtures and 372 transformers, install 9,100 photovoltaic panels, upgrade and replace air conditioning systems and chillers, and install smart controls--along with other improvements, including deferred maintenance.

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Government That Works
Governor Neil Abercrombie

Performance contracting allows state agencies to make significant changes to aging and inefficient equipment without having to pay upfront costs for the upgrades. The improvements are paid for over time through energy savings.

This approach to implementing energy and water efficiency measures uses guaranteed energy savings to pay for projects. The upgrades will be spread throughout the statewide airports system. The majority of the improvements will take place at Honolulu International and Kahului Airports. These airports were chosen for their potential to have the greatest energy savings impacts.

Hawai'i already leads the nation in EPC per-capita investment. As the state's third largest user of electricity, our airports system will further pioneer new territory in energy conservation and efficiency.

As work continues over the next two years, every effort will be made to minimize disruptions to travelers. Much of the work will be done away from public areas such as work on chillers, air conditioning systems and transformers. More than 400 local jobs will be created through this project, with a projected $670 million in economic development.

While the airports project is the largest-ever for our state--and even the nation-- similar contracts are also being successfully used at other state government facilities, including the Department of Accounting and General Services' 10 downtown Honolulu buildings and 33 buildings statewide, Department of Public Safety's Halawa Correctional Facility, O'ahu Community Correctional Center and throughout the University of Hawai'i Community College System.

This project demonstrates the state's commitment to clean energy. We are on our way to an energy-independent Hawai'i.



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