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U.S. EPA Awards $100,000 Innovative Technology Contract to Hawaii Small Business

Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency awarded $100,000 to Oceanit Laboratories, Inc., located in Honolulu, to develop a nontoxic coating for use in water pipeline repair. The company is one of 15 small businesses nationwide receiving a total of $1.6 million to develop technologies that will help protect human health and the environment.

“EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research program is awarding funding to these small businesses because they have demonstrated the potential to create technologies that will improve our environment and our economy,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “These technologies are focused on creating cutting-edge products that can help solve today’s complex environmental problems and enhance economic growth.”

Oceanit Laboratories received the funding to develop a corrosion-resistant, nontoxic coating to protect the interior of aging pipelines. The application process for the coating will allow heavily corroded pipes to be retrofitted and refurbished in place.

“Utilizing Oceanit’s family of EverPel repellent coatings, which can be applied in-situ via in-line pigging to previously worn and in-service pipelines, we are addressing the need for rapid, cost-efficient refurbishment of water transport pipelines without the need for full excavation and replacement,” said Matthew Nakatsuka, Senior Materials Engineer for Oceanit. “We look forward to applying and adapting research and technologies from the energy and defense sectors to addressing this pressing domestic concern, and are excited to work with the EPA in developing new ways to promote public health and infrastructure safety.”

EPA’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding boosts local economies by creating jobs and promoting collaborations among small businesses through product testing and research. The funding also supports technologies aimed at creating cleaner manufacturing materials and better infrastructure in communities.

Companies compete for SBIR Phase I awards of up to $100,000 by submitting research that addresses key environmental issues. After receiving a Phase I award, companies are eligible to compete for Phase II awards of $300,000 to further develop and commercialize the technology.

EPA is one of 11 federal agencies that participate in the SBIR Program established by the Small Business Innovation Development Act of 1982.

For more information on EPA’s SBIR Phase I recipients, visit https://go.usa.gov/xRHhV.

Learn more about EPA’s SBIR program at www.epa.gov/sbir.

Learn more about the SBIR Program across the federal government at www.sbir.gov/

Hawaii Pacific University and Honokaa High Launch Virtual Classroom

Hawaii Pacific University (HPU) and Honokaa High School today kicked off their new partnership that gives Honokaa students access to HPU’s new, virtual college-credit program. The 17 Honokaa students who are enrolled in the program will connect with HPU professors using video technology that allows for real-time learning.

The 17 Honoka’a students who are enrolled in the program will connect with HPU professors using video technology that allows for real-time learning.  Photo Credit: HPU

“This innovative partnership with Hawaii Pacific University helps us equip students for success at the next level, empower them to explore their potential, and inspire them to reach their aspirations,” said Suzanne Mulcahy, Hawaii State Department of Education. “Together, as a community, we can meet and exceed our goal to successfully guide students to become leaders for Hawai’i’s future.”

“We are grateful to HPU for this partnership as it gives our students direct access to a post-secondary education trajectory,” said Rachelle Matsumura, principal of Honokaa High & Intermediate School. “Programs like this encourage our students to strive for their highest potential and provides a valuable head start on earning college credits that will potentially save them time and money.”

This program is the first of its kind for the private university, which provides real-time, distance learning for high school students. To increase access and opportunities for Honokaa students, HPU tuition has been waived so the high school students may earn college credits and experience the university’s rich curriculum.

“HPU is deeply committed to making higher education increasingly cost-efficient, attainable, and expedient for the students in our local communities,” said John Gotanda, HPU president.  “We recognize an opportunity to not only provide our keiki o ka aina with their best chance to attain their desired goals, but also attract and cultivate high achievers within our islands who will one day be leaders of our community making a profound impact on Hawai’i and beyond.”

L to R: Rachelle Matsumura, principal of Honoka’a High & Intermediate; Assistant Superintendent Suzanne Mulcahy; Complex Area Superintendent Art Souza; John Gotanda, president of HPU; Carol Mon Lee.  Photo Credit: HPU

Dual Credit allows Hawaii DOE high school students to take classes that satisfy requirements for both a Hawaii high school diploma and a University degree.

The Dual Credit program is also made possible through generous support from Carol Mon Lee, a retired lawyer and educator.  Ms. Lee’s investment makes higher education more attainable for local students. She noted, “President Gotanda’s vision for educating the youth of Hawaii, especially those in our public schools, is not just inspiring but vital to our state.”

Ms. Lee currently volunteers as executive-vice president and chief operating officer of ThinkTech Hawaii, a non-profit media company. She also sits on the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education and the Board of Governors, UC Hastings College of Law, San Francisco.

The partnership highlights HPU’s expertise as the state leader in online education and expands its services to support public high school students. The university has been providing online education for deployed students in the military and have provided dual-credit programs with high schools around the state. In 2016, HPU became the first school in Hawaii to be approved by a state agency to participate in NC-SARA, a national authorization program to reciprocate online education across state lines.

Hawaiian Electric Companies Submit Plan to Modernize Island Grids

The Hawaiian Electric Companies filed their Grid Modernization Strategy with the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) yesterday, providing a roadmap for building more resilient and renewable-ready island grids.

Yesterday’s filing follows the submission of the companies’ draft report in late June. The draft was posted online and presented at four public meetings on Maui, Hawaii Island and Oahu to review the strategy with customers, answer their questions and receive their comments. Dozens of written comments and transcripts of the public meetings are included in a separate document that accompanied the filing.

The plan, “Modernizing Hawaii’s Grid for Our Customers,” outlines near-term initiatives that strengthen the grid through investments in technology to enable more renewable energy resources to be safely and efficiently integrated with the grid, including private rooftop solar.

Longer term, the strategy is to continue to evolve the grid as a platform to enable greater customer choice and support statewide economic development and “smart communities” efforts that rely on robust data and energy management systems.

The Companies estimate it will cost $205 million to update the energy networks of Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light over the next six years. The plan aims to help bring on more renewable resources – customer-sited and grid-sourced – increase reliability, and give customers new choices to manage their energy use.

Highlights of this near-term work include:

  • Distribution of smart meters strategically rather than system-wide, i.e., to customers with private rooftop solar on saturated circuits and customers interested in demand response programs, variable rates or electricity usage data
  • Reliance on advanced inverter technology to enable greater rooftop solar adoption
  • Expanded use of voltage management tools, especially on circuits with heavy solar penetration to maximize circuit capacities for private rooftop solar and other customer resources
  • Enhanced outage management and notification technology

To read the filing, please use the following links:

www.hawaiianelectric.com/gridmod

www.hawaiielectriclight.com/gridmod

www.mauielectric.com/gridmod

PISCES and Hawaii CC Launch Credit-Based Internship Program

The Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES) — a state-funded aerospace agency — in partnership with Hawaii Community College has launched a new credit-based internship program to offer college students high-tech learning opportunities while earning classroom credit.
The collaborative program will provide hands-on experience in computer programming and robotics work to develop Hawaii’s skilled labor workforce as jobs increasingly shift toward high-tech industry positions.

“I am very happy to be working closely with Hawaii Community College to provide students the opportunity to practice and improve the skills they learn in the classroom,” said PISCES Program Manager Rodrigo Romo. “At PISCES we are committed to providing Hawaii’s youth with as many tools and opportunities as possible to meet the demands of the growing high tech industry in the Islands.”

“Hawaii Community College believes that preparing our students for the jobs of the 21st century goes beyond our classrooms,” said Hawaii CC Chancellor Rachel Solemsaas. “Along with industry partners like PISCES, we can provide academic rigor in internship-based courses and programs.”

Two Hawaii CC students will participate in the new program during the fall 2017 semester, earning hour-for-hour classroom credit towards their degrees. Andrew Hasegawa and Jack Andersen, both Electronics Technology majors, will design and develop an autonomous navigation system for the PISCES planetary rover, “Helelani,” enabling the 700-pound robot to drive itself. The students will also develop a delivery system for an unmanned aerial vehicle to mitigate little fire ant populations in tree canopies — a PISCES project in partnership with the Hawaii Ant Lab. Both students are already familiar with the Helelani rover’s configuration since developing the robot’s software and hardware systems during PISCES’ 10-week internship program this summer.

“Hawaii Community College is very proud of our two summer intern students, Andrew Hasegawa and Jack Anderson, who will also participate this fall in the credit-based internship program at PISCES,” said Hawaii CC Electronics Technology Instructor Bernard “Chip” Michels. “Their work this past summer is a good representation of the new Electronics Technology curriculum the students were exposed to. I believe this new, revitalized Electronics Technology program that is focused on telecommunications and process and control industries will yield other fine examples of student work in the future. We hope to have more opportunities for our interns at PISCES and other interested organizations.”

PISCES and Hawaii CC intend to make the credit-based internship an ongoing program to provide unique learning opportunities for Hawaii college students outside of the classroom.

“Although classroom learning is invaluable for foundational knowledge, it can at times be lacking in more realistic problem-solving scenarios,” said Hawaii CC student Andrew Hasegawa. “This internship provides me with hands-on situations that I’m sure will serve me well in my overall education and future employment opportunities.”

Andersen and Hasegawa demonstrated the effectiveness of their summer internship experience during a final presentation in Hilo on Aug. 18 to an audience of lawmakers, educators, industry representatives and other members of the community.

“I am amazed with students’ testimony about their place-based learning experiences and their enthusiasm in applying their skills to the real world,” said Solemsaas.

Hawaii Garners National Recognition for Investment in Energy Efficiency

A national network of energy efficiency experts recently honored Hawaii with its “Race to the Top Award” for the pioneering work being done by state and county agencies to boost investment in energy efficiency projects that are helping the state meet its clean energy goals.

The nonprofit Energy Services Coalition (ESC) for the sixth consecutive year recognized Hawaii as the nation’s per capita leader in energy performance contracting (EPC), a form of innovative financing for capital improvements that allows government agencies to pay for energy efficiency upgrades with the savings on their utility bills. In addition, the ESC for the second straight year named Hawaii one of its “Energy Stewardship Champions” for achieving infrastructure modernization, environmental stewardship, and economic development through performance contracting.

“The growth of energy performance contracting is making a significant impact on Hawaii’s use of imported fossil fuels while helping diversify our economy by sustaining and creating jobs in the clean tech sector,” said Luis P. Salaveria, director of the State Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism. “I commend the state and county agencies that are executing energy performance contracts, and for playing a leadership role in Hawaii’s clean energy transformation.”

EPC uses the savings from upgrades such as digital controls for energy systems, and lighting, plumbing and air conditioning improvements to repay the cost of the equipment and its installation. The costs are borne by the performance contractor and paid back out of the energy savings.  The ESC in its annual “Race to the Top” program ranks the 50 states based on the per capita amount invested in performance contracts for government buildings. Hawaii’s investment of $372.81 per capita in 2017 earned the state a sixth consecutive No. 1 ranking. The national average for EPC investment is $62.72 per capita.

“Using a tool like energy performance contracting to retrofit buildings not only makes them more efficient and comfortable, it delivers meaningful energy cost savings to building owners,” said Carilyn Shon, HSEO administrator. “Furthermore, using energy more efficiently is the fastest, most cost-effective way to pursue Hawaii’s clean energy goals.”

In addition to the Race to the Top honor, Hawaii was one of 12 states that earned the ESC’s Energy Stewardship Champion award for a combination of its political leadership, programmatic design, and the amount of private sector investment in guaranteed energy savings performance contracting (GESPC) in their states.

“GESPC is a financial strategy leveraging guaranteed future energy savings to pay for energy efficiency upgrades today,” said Jim Arwood, ESC Executive Director. “Hawaii has achieved considerable recent success in support of implementing energy efficiency projects in public buildings and infrastructure through the use of a GESPC.”

The Hawaii State Energy Office (HSEO), a division of the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, accepted the Race to the Top and Energy Stewardship Champion awards during the ESC’s annual conference August 9-11 at the Green Valley Ranch Resort in Henderson, Nevada.

HSEO provides technical assistance to state and country agencies entering into energy performance contracts. The EPC projects vary widely and include office buildings, community colleges, airports, highways, and prisons. In a typical EPC, the building owner contracts with an energy service company to install the energy improvements and guarantee the energy savings over the contract term. The contractor is then paid out of the energy savings and captures the incentives made available by Hawai‘i Energy to promote investment in energy efficiency.

“Hawaii continues to be a national leader in clean energy and energy efficiency,” said Brian Kealoha, executive director of Hawaii Energy.  “Since 1996, Hawaii state government agencies have saved, on average, more than 5 million kilowatt hours a year, equating to over $24 million in savings, with the majority of this coming through EPCs. Hawaii Energy has worked with the State Energy Office and state agencies to help them make smart energy choices. Hawaii Energy has rewarded these agencies with over $11 million in incentives for projects such as lighting, air conditioning system efficiency upgrades, and advanced building automation systems to promote investments that ultimately save taxpayers money while helping Hawai‘i achieve its 100 percent clean energy goal faster.”

Performance contracts signed by state and local government agencies in Hawaii since 1996 include 295 buildings and facilities covering more than 112 million square feet. The savings are the equivalent of powering 388,210 homes for one year.

Polynesian Voyaging Society Launches Hōkūleʻa Mahalo, Hawai’i Sail

Hōkūleʻa departed the Marine Education Training Center (METC) at Sand Island today to begin the Mahalo, Hawai’i Sail. The Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) announced some of the stops that the canoe will be making during this six-month voyage throughout the Hawaiian Islands:

Mahalo, Hawai’i Sail – *Ports and dates are subject to change:

  • August and September: Maui (Honolua), Oʻahu (Haleʻiwa), Kauaʻi
  • October: Moku O Keawe, Maui (Hana)
  • November: Maui Nui – Maui (Maʻalaea/Wailea), Lānaʻi, Molokaʻi
  • Late-November to mid-December: Windward Oʻahu
  • January: Leeward, East and South Oʻahu

The Mahalo, Hawai’i Sail will give PVS an opportunity to thank Hawaiʻi’s people, bring Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia home to all of Hawaiʻi, share lessons learned from the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage and deepen the organization’s connection and understanding of the important work being done here in the islands to care for the earth. During the port visits, PVS will engage with schools and organizations through outreach events, service projects, crew presentations and canoe tours.

The first stop will be at Honolua Bay, Maui, where Hōkūleʻa first departed on her maiden voyage to Tahiti in 1976. The crew will begin to mahalo and mālama Hawai’i by participating in the planting of 1,000 koa seedlings as part of a series of community engagement events in West Maui. In partnership with the Maui Land and Pineapple Company, Inc. through the conservation department of the Pu’u Kukui Watershed Preserve, State of Hawaiʻi DLNR, The Nature Conservancy of Hawaiʻi and Kamehameha Schools Maui, Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia crewmembers will be engaging with schools and the community in West Maui where they are scheduled to conduct presentations and canoe tours (see detailed schedule below).

Voyaging canoe Hikianalia is scheduled to depart Sand Island on Friday, August 18, and will join Hōkūleʻa at Honolua Bay on Saturday, August 19.

Honolua Bay Engagement Schedule (Events are free and open to the public):
*All dates and times schedule to change

Thursday, August 17
4 pm Hōkūleʻa arrives at Honolua Bay, Honolua Bay Ramp
6 pm Huliau Film & Lecture Series presents Ola ʻo Maui Nui featuring speakers from the 1976 Voyage and Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage crew at
Kamehameha Schools Maui, Keōpūolani Hale

Friday, August 18
9:30-12:30 pm Kamehameha Schools Maui students and teachers visit with Hōkūleʻa crew at Honolua for informational activities and service project

6:30 pm Crew Talk Story at Westin Nanea
(Participating crew members: Max Yarawamai, Archie Kalepa, Lehua Kamalu and Billy Richards)

6:30-8:00 pm Crew Talk Story at Kaanapali Beach Hotel
(Participating crew members: Mark Ellis, Kekaimalu Lee, Kaʻiulani Murphy and Pua Lincoln)

Saturday, August 19
8-8:30 am Cultural welcome at Honolua Bay
9 am-5 pm Informational activities
10:30 am-1 pm Planting of koa and native plants with Pu’u Kukui Watershed Preserve makai conservation area. For information, visit puukukui.org
2-5 pm Public canoe tours and informational activities at Honolua Bay Ramp
7 pm Hōkūleʻa Revisted: 1976 Crew Member Talk at Ritz Carlton Kapalua
(Participating crew members: Buffalo Keaulana, Snake Ah Hee, Billy Richards, John Kruse, Gordon Piʻianaia, Penny Martin, Kimo Lyman, Marion Lyman-Mersereau, Makaala Yates and Kainoa Lee)

Sunday, August 20
8 am-5 pm Public canoe tours at Honolua Bay Ramp
TBD Crew Talk at Sheraton Maui
(Puu Kukui Watershed representatives and and Hōkūleʻa crew)
6:30 pm Crew Talk at Montage Kapalua Bay
(Participating crew members: Kalepa Baybayan, Kalā Tanaka and Austin Kino

Hawaii Residents Can Spot the International Space Station Tonight

Hawaii residents can spot the International Space Station tonight (depending on clouds).

It will be visible beginning tonight, Tuesday, August 15th at 7:54 PM. It will be visible for approximately 4 minutes at a maximum height of 54 degrees. It will appear 10 degrees above the North Northwest part of the sky and disappear 47 degrees above the East part of the sky.

Mayor Kim Gets Honorable Mention at US Conference of Mayors’s Climate Protection Awards

The United States Conference of Mayors 11th anniversary Winners Mayors’ Climate protection awards:

Honorable Mentions (Large City) – Hawai’i Mayor Harry Kim and the Lalamilo Windfarm Project:

Hawai’i Department of Water Supply’s (DWS) Lalamilo Windfarm project officially opened for commercial operations in September 2016, with five turbines generating 3.3 megawatts of electricity with no-export to the grid.
As an island state, the State of Hawai’i has been at the mercy of imported fossil fuel supplies. The Lalamilo Windfarm contributes to the State of Hawai’i’s Clean Energy Initiative’s goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2045.

Among the challenges in developing this project were permitting hurdles, most notably those involving the expected take of endangered bats and sea birds such as petrels.

Lighting was installed at downward facing angles and down-shielded to avoid attraction and disorientation of night-flying seabirds. It also will be less attractive to insects at turbine blade heights which may attract bats.

The turbines are also programmed to cut in and produce energy only when the wind exceeds 5 meters per second and the blades are feathered into the wind when the wind speeds are below 5 meters per second to minimize impact to both bats and birds. Bird flight diverters were also installed to minimize the potential for birds colliding with the overhead electrical transmission lines.
The windfarm is designed to provide a renewable energy source and a stable rate platform for the Department of Water Supply’s pumping equipment for the next 20 years. The CO2 offset for the Lalamilo Windfarm is estimated at 5,000 metric tons of CO2 per year.

At the 2015 groundbreaking for Lalamilo

This is arguably the first time in Hawai’i, and perhaps the nation, that a local government has developed such a wind-powered, water-pumping facility capable of significant greenhouse gas reductions at no cost to the taxpayer.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado, in partnership with DWS and the Department of Research and Development, worked out models of the energy output potential for the windfarm site, at no cost to DWS or its customers. In April 2013, the project was awarded to Lalamilo Windfarm Wind
Company LLC, which designed, constructed, owns, and maintains the facility, through a Power Purchase Agreement. Planning, design, and construction were also done at no cost to DWS.

The turbines of the Windfarm are located on 78 acres adjacent to eight DWS water wells in Lalamilo Windfarm, South Kohala, on the site of a previous windfarm built in the mid-1980s. The use of wind energy while reducing our dependence on imported fossil fuels, also ensures a stable source of energy that is expected to reduce energy costs to DWS and its customers over the next
20 years.

Questions and Answers: Hawaii and the Threat of a North Korean Missile Strike

Click to enlarge

1. Why now? Has the North Korea missile threat increased so much recently that you were urged to begin preparations for an attack?

Preparations for the North Korea missile and nuclear threat began in late 2016 when this assessment suggested early preparations should be initiated. Hawaii has maintained plans to cope with missile testing since 2009. The Hawaii Emergency Management Agency (HI-EMA) conducts a Threat and Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (THIRA) every year. This process examines potential hazards and threats to the State of Hawaii including natural (hurricane, tsunami), technological (cyberterrorism) and man-made (acts of terrorism) hazards.

2. I have heard that planning for a nuclear attack from North Korea is futile given most of the population will be killed or critically injured. Is that true?

No. Current estimates of human casualties based on the size (yield) of North Korean nuclear weapon technology strongly suggests an explosion less than 3 miles in diameter. More than 90% of the population would survive the direct effects of such an explosion. Planning and preparedness are essential to protect those survivors from delayed residual radiation (fallout) and other effects of the attack such as the loss of utilities and communication systems, structural fires, etc.

3. How will the public learn of a possible missile launch from North Korea?

Approximately 5 minutes into the launch sequence, the U.S. Pacific Command will notify the Hawaii State Warning Point (SWP) that a missile is in route from North Korea. The SWP is staffed on a 24-hour, 7 day-a-week basis by skilled emergency management professionals.
Upon receipt of the notification, the SWP will activate the ‘Attack-Warning’ signal on all outdoor sirens statewide (wailing sound) and transmit a warning advisory on radio, television and cellular telephones within 2 minutes.

4. What should Hawaii residents and visitors do when they hear the ‘Attack-Warning’ siren signal?

All residents and visitors must immediately seek shelter in a building or other substantial structure. Once the sirens sound, residents and visitors will have less than 12 to 15 minutes before missile impact.

5. Was the recent public messaging recommending that each individual/family maintain a 14-day survival kit made because of the North Korea threat?

The 14-day recommendation was made following an intensive analysis suggesting that Hawaii could experience a major disruption to maritime transportation (shipping and ports) in the event of a major hurricane. This recommendation does however complement the potential need for 14 days of sheltering following a nuclear attack.

6. When will schools begin nuclear drills?

Schools are not expected to conduct drills specific to a nuclear attack. Existing drills known as ‘lock down’ drills serve the same purpose. These drills are regularly conducted at all schools statewide and are considered more than adequate in terms of protecting students and staff.

7. When will the new ‘Attack-Warning’ siren signal will available and how will it be tested?

The new (second) ‘Attack-Warning’ siren signal (wailing sound) will be available for use beginning in November 2017. The signal will be tested on the first working day of every month thereafter together with the existing ‘Attention-Alert’ signal (steady sound) used for other emergencies.

8. Are there public shelters (blast or fallout) designated in our communities?

No. There are currently no designated shelters in the State of Hawaii at this time. The short warning time (12 to 15 minutes) would not allow for residents or visitors to locate such a shelter in advance of missile impact.

9. How long will residents and visitors need to remain sheltered following a nuclear detonation?

In most cases, only until the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency has assessed residual radiation and fallout. This could be as little as a few hours or as long as 14 days.

10.  What is fallout?

Debris including soil, fragments of destroyed buildings and other material will be drawn into the cloud of a nuclear detonation and propelled into the sky. This debris will begin to settle back to earth within hours. This debris includes residual radiation that poses a significant health risk to humans and animals.

11. How can I tell if nuclear radiation is present?

Nuclear radiation cannot be perceived by the human senses (sight, smell, etc.). Specialized instruments are needed to detect its presence and intensity. Those instruments are available for use by public safety agencies across the State of Hawaii.

12. How long will nuclear radiation persist after a nuclear detonation?

A: Radiation from nuclear detonation in the form of fallout decays very rapidly. Days to weeks in most situations.

13. Are the neighbor island safe?

We do not know. North Korean missile technology may not be adequately advanced to accurately target a specific island or location. Although most analysts believe the desired target will be Oahu given the concentration of military and government facilities, a missile may stray and impact the open ocean or even a neighbor island. All areas of the State of Hawaii must consider the possibility of missile impact.

14. How will the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency communicate with the public post-impact? I have heard that most broadcast stations and other forms of electronic communications (cellular telephones, radio, television) will be damaged or destroyed.

When a nuclear weapon detonates, one of the direct effects produced is called an Electromagnetic Pulse (or EMP). EMP has the potential of destroying electrical devices and telecommunications systems. It may also disrupt electrical power and other essential utilities. Broadcast stations many miles distant from the explosion (such as on another island) will survive EMP effects. Our current plans are to utilize AM and FM broadcast radio stations on unaffected islands to provide essential information to the public. This means residents and visitors should include a battery-powered AM-FM radio in their 14-day survival kit.

15. How can I learn more about the nuclear threat and preparedness?

Public outreach and online information is available to all Hawaii residents.
Hawaii Emergency Management Agency Email: HawaiiEma@hawaii.gov Web: http://dod.hawaii.gov/hiema/ Telephone: 808 -733-4300 or contact your county emergency management agency:

  • Kauai Emergency Management Agency 808-241-1800
  • Honolulu Department of Emergency Management 808-723-8960
  • Maui Emergency management Agency 808-270-7285
  • Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency 808-935-0031

Ready.Gov website https://www.ready.gov/nuclear-blast

UH Community College Students Prepare to Launch Payload From NASA Flight Facility

University of Hawaiʻi community college students are getting ready to launch their third payload from a NASA facility. The launch from Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia is scheduled for a window between 5:30 and 9:30 a.m. EDT on Saturday, August 12.

Nicholas Hermann and Cale Melcher

Live coverage of the mission is scheduled to begin at 5 a.m. EDT on the Wallops Ustream site. Launch updates also are available via the Wallops Facebook and Twitter sites. Facebook Live coverage begins at 5:15 a.m. EDT.

Smartphone users can download the What’s Up at Wallops app, which contains information on the launch as well as a compass showing the precise direction for launch viewing.

Project Imua is a joint faculty-student enterprise of four UH community college campuses (Honolulu, Kapiʻolani, Kauaʻi and Windward). Its primary mission is to engage undergraduate students in project based STEM research with real-world development of small payloads for space flight. A NASA grant awarded to the Hawaiʻi Space Grant Consortium has helped to fund the project.

Honolulu CC Project Imua Mentor Will Smith and students Cale Mechler and Nick Hermann are at Wallops in final preparations for Saturday’s launch. Another mentor and other UH community college students traveled to Wallops this past June to conduct preliminary tests on the payload.

For more on the August 12 launch and the participating universities and colleges, see the NASA website.

Hawaiian Electric Companies’ Sustainability Report Available

The Hawaiian Electric Companies’ progress in improving customer service, increasing renewable energy, decreasing oil use, innovating to provide more customers access to rooftop solar and modernize the grid, and supporting communities are highlighted in the companies’ tenth annual Sustainability Report.

As a result of that effort, Hawaiian Electric has compiled a list of potential sites that could be available to experienced developers of renewable energy projects.

The 2016 Sustainability Report for Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light is available online at:

A limited number of copies printed on 100-percent post-consumer-waste paper with vegetable-based inks are available at Hawaiian Electric bill payment locations on Oahu or by calling the Education and Consumer Affairs Department at 808-543-7511.

Among the expanded sections of the report is “Electrification of Transportation” which includes the companies’ on-line EV Cost/Benefit Calculator, expanding EV Fast Charger network and collaborative efforts to promote electric mobility through Drive Electric Hawaii.

The report also includes a timeline of Hawaiian Electric’s 125-year history, 1891 to 2016.

It also highlights donations of time and money of 4,867 employee volunteers and their families and friends who contributed 16,319 hours of service, $1,055,000 (much of it matched by donations from the HEI Charitable Foundation) and 1,318 pints of blood.

Hawaiian Electric Companies Seek to Connect Renewable Energy Developers With Landowners

To help achieve Hawaii’s renewable energy goals, the Hawaiian Electric Companies recently sought out landowners to determine their willingness to host renewable energy projects.

As a result of that effort, Hawaiian Electric has compiled a list of potential sites that could be available to experienced developers of renewable energy projects.

“By reaching out to potential developers and sharing information with them, we are helping landowners and developers get together to streamline the process of developing renewable energy projects. Together, we are all working toward achieving our state’s 100 percent renewable energy goal,” said Shelee Kimura, Hawaiian Electric senior vice president of strategic planning and business development.

Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light will require all developers to engage with communities near proposed renewable energy projects and solicit public input before developers can negotiate a final agreement with the utility. All agreements will require approval of the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission.

Hawaii has the nation’s most ambitious clean energy goal, requiring 100 percent of electricity sales to come from renewable resources by 2045. By December 2016, the companies achieved nearly 26 percent of the state’s renewable energy mandate across the five islands served. Hawaii Island, for example, has the state’s highest level of renewables at 54 percent. With new developer agreements recently approved by regulators, it is expected more than 80 percent of the electricity used by Hawaii Electric Light customers will come from renewable sources by 2020.

The companies are now moving even more assertively to encourage renewable project development while federal tax incentives that can lower prices for customers are available.

To reach 100 percent, Hawaii will need a broad mix of clean resources. Private rooftop solar, energy storage, and electricity-use management (also known as efficiency and demand response) will increasingly be options for individual customers. Grid-scale projects are still essential to complement these choices to provide power reliability and ensure all customers benefit from renewable energy.

The companies have requested Public Utilities Commission approval to start the regulated procurement process and expect soon to issue formal requests for proposals for developers to propose grid-scale projects.

When contacting Hawaiian Electric, developers must sign a non-disclosure agreement and provide information to demonstrate experience and capability in completing renewable projects. For information, go to hawaiianelectric.com/landrfi or email landrfi@hawaiianelectric.com.

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Polynesian Voyaging Society to Launch Hokulea’s “Mahalo, Hawaii Sail” at Honolua Bay, Maui

Honolua will be first of 40 stops during the eight-month sail throughout Hawaiian Islands

On August 16, 2017, voyaging canoes Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia will depart the Marine Education Training Center (METC) at Sand Island to begin the MAHALO, HAWAI’I SAIL. The first stop will be at Honolua Bay, Maui, where Hōkūleʻa first launched for her maiden voyage in 1976 and where she will now begin to mahalo and mālama Hawai’i with a planting of 4,000 koa seedlings as part of a series of events in West Maui. After the Honolua Bay visit, the canoes will continue to approximately 40 additional ports and connect with nearly 80 communities throughout the Hawaiian Islands.

The Mahalo, Hawai’i Sail will give Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) an opportunity to thank Hawaiʻi’s people, bring Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia home to all of Hawaiʻi, share lessons learned from the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage and deepen the organization’s connection and understanding of the important work being done here in the islands to care for the earth. During the port visits, PVS will engage with schools and organizations through outreach events, service projects, crew presentations and canoe tours.

“Now that we have returned from our three-year voyage around the world, we are looking forward to reconnecting with and thanking the people of Hawai’i,” said Nainoa Thompson, president of PVS. “It’s also time now to discover and shine the light on what people and organizations are doing to turn inspiration into action for the betterment of our island home and the earth. This first engagement planned at Honolua Bay and Waokele ʻo Honolua by the West Maui community is an example of what we are hoping to support during this sail,” he added.

Honolua Bay was chosen as the first stop on the MAHALO, HAWAI’I SAIL because it was the location where the Hōkūleʻa’s maiden voyage to Tahiti was launched in 1976. In partnership with the Maui Land and Pineapple Company, Inc. through the conservation department of the Pu’u Kukui Watershed Preserve, State of Hawaiʻi DLNR, The Nature Conservancy of Hawaiʻi and Kamehameha Schools Maui, Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia crew members will be engaging with schools and the community in West Maui where they are scheduled to conduct presentations and canoe tours (see detailed schedule below).

On Saturday, August 19, crew members will join the community and participate in a project to plant 4,000 koa trees and thousands of other native plants in the Pu’u Kukui Watershed Preserve ma kai conservation area. At one time, koa trees were used to make voyaging canoes, but today there are few of these native trees remaining which are large enough to do so.

Honolua Bay Engagement Schedule:
*ALL DATES AND TIMES SCHEDULE TO CHANGE

  • Wednesday, August 16, 11 p.m. – Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia depart METC at Sand Island
  • Thursday, August 17, 4 p.m. – Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia arrive at Honolua Bay
  • Thursday, August 17, 6 p.m. – Mālama Honua Voyage sharing by crew members of Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia at Kamehameha Schools Maui, Keōpūolani Hale (Free and Open to the public)
  • Friday, August 18, 9:30 – 12:30 p.m. – Kamehameha Schools Maui visit with Hōkūleʻa crew and planting
  • Saturday, August 19, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Planting of 4,000 koa trees and thousands of other native plants at Pu’u Kukui Watershed Preserve ma kai conservation area (limited parking available)
  • Saturday, August 19, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. – Public canoe tours, Honolua Bay Ramp
  • Sunday, August 20, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Public canoe tours, Honolua Bay Ramp
  • TBD– Hōkūleʻa and Hikianalia depart Honolua Bay

About Pu’u Kukui Watershed Preserve:
Pu’u Kukui Watershed Preserve is the largest private nature preserve in the state of Hawaiʻi. Extending across more than 9,000 acres from ma uka to ma kai of Mauna Kahālāwai on Mauiʻs West side, it is home to some of the rarest endangered flora and fauna in the islands. This pristine area is a vital water source for Mauiʻs community and one of the wettest spots on earth. Most recently, under new management, the ancestral wisdom of Hawaiian elders has been laid as the foundation for conservation efforts in the preserve; providing a culturally sensitive and informed approach to managing the thriving native ecosystem of Puʻu Kukui. Conservation endeavors include non-native invasive species control, weed control, monitoring, research and most importantly protecting rare species.

About Polynesian Voyaging Society:
PVS was founded in 1973 on a legacy of Pacific Ocean exploration, seeking to perpetuate the art and science of traditional Polynesian voyaging and the spirit of exploration through experiential educational programs that inspire students and their communities to respect and care for themselves, one another, and their natural and cultural environments.

Hawaii Joins Multi-State Pledge to Strengthen Cyber Defense, Workforce

Gov. David Y. Ige today announced that Hawai‘i has joined a multi-state cybersecurity compact signed by 38 governors to enhance state cybersecurity and develop the cyber workforce.

The “Compact to Improve State Cybersecurity” is part of the National Governors Association’s “Meet the Threat: States Confront the Cyber Challenge” initiative. The compact makes recommendations to better secure states’ cyber infrastructure by building cybersecurity governance, preparing and defending the state from cybersecurity events, and growing the nation’s cybersecurity workforce.

Click to read

“The top priority of any governor is the public’s welfare and safety, which now includes protecting citizens from cyber threats,” Gov. Ige said. “I am proud to join my fellow governors in signing this compact and committing to its recommendations.”

The compact specifically recognizes that a “competent and plentiful workforce” is critical to successful cybersecurity policy.

“Hawaii has already taken proactive steps toward the compacts goals,” said state Chief Information Officer Todd Nacapuy, who leads the Office of Enterprise Technology Services, the agency responsible for securing state government information resources and infrastructure. “These include establishing a state chief information security officer, reclassifying IT security positions to align with modern industry best practices, offering cyber internship opportunities, and supporting programs such as SANS Institute’s CyberStart program that encourages high school and college students to explore careers in cybersecurity.”

Read the full Compact to Improve State Cybersecurity here:
https://governor.hawaii.gov/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/1707CybersecurityCompact.pdf

PUC Approves HELCO-HU HONUA Amended, Restated PPA

Plant Will Be Completed in 2018 and Provide Dependable Renewable Energy

Yesterday, the state Public Utilities Commission (PUC) informed Hu Honua Bioenergy, LLC it had approved its amended and restated power purchase agreement with Hawaii Electric Light Company (HELCO).

Hu Honua site courtesy Hu Honua

Hu Honua will be a state-of-the-art bioenergy facility, providing firm, renewable, dispatchable energy. The Pepeekeo-based power plant will be completed in December 2018 and support the state’s clean energy goals, revitalize East Hawaii’s agricultural sector, and bring hundreds of new jobs to Hawaii Island.

The Commission conducted a detailed review of the Hu Honua project’s benefits and approved Hu Honua’s original Power Purchase Agreement with the HELCO in 2013. The amended, restated PPA provides HELCO customers with the same advantages as the original PPA but at a lower cost.

“We couldn’t be more pleased with the PUC’s decision,” said Harold Robinson, president of Island Bioenergy, parent company of Hu Honua. “Now we can begin employing hundreds of additional workers from the building trades to accelerate construction and complete the plant by the end of 2018. We will also make arrangements to start forestry operations, including logging and transporting eucalyptus trees that will fuel our facility.”

The amended, restated PPA extends two contract milestones to allow Hu Honua to finish its half-completed biomass facility, and reduces and restructures the contract’s pricing and term.

Because the original PPA was already approved, the Commission limited its review of the amended, restated PPA to whether HELCO met its burden of proof for the following three issues:

  1. Request to waive Hu Honua’s project from the PUC’s framework for competitive bidding
  2. Whether the power costs to be paid by HELCO reflect the cost of biomass fuel supply and whether HELCO’s purchase power arrangements under the PPA are in the public interest
  3. Request for preferential rates for the purchase of renewable energy produced in conjunction with agricultural activities pursuant to Hawaii Revised Statutes § 269-27.3.

According to HELCO’s own analysis, Hu Honua will reduce its customers’ monthly bill by $1.21 per month over the term of the PPA, relative to HELCO’s current long-term projections. A separate independent analysis by PA Consulting showed Hu Honua will save ratepayers as much as $4.24 per month over the term of the PPA. PA Consulting’s analysis also shows Hu Honua would save ratepayers more than $1.3 billion over the course of the 30-year PPA relative to HELCO’s existing portfolio of fossil fuel plants, which is the benchmark the Commission used to determine the original PPA was in the public interest.

Hu Honua will provide foundational 30-year demand for the forestry sector that Hawaii policymakers and community leaders have long sought. Hu Honua will create more than 200 jobs in construction, 30 in plant management and operations, 90 in forestry and trucking, and an additional estimated 100 indirect jobs on Hawaii Island and statewide. Hu Honua is working with community partners on workforce development educational and internship opportunities.

A June 2017 independent scientific survey conducted by Anthology Research Group found that 75 percent of East Hawaii residents feel “very or somewhat favorable” about the completion of the Hu Honua Facility, and only 10 percent feel unfavorably about its completion. The margin of error for the survey is 5.06 percent.

About Hu Honua
Hu Honua Bioenergy, LLC is located in Pepeekeo on the Hamakua Coast of the island of Hawaii. When completed, the Hu Honua facility will be able to produce up to 30-megawatts (MW) of firm, baseload renewable power, which means the plant can deliver reliable power that can be dispatched 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When operating at capacity, Hu Honua will be able to produce approximately 15 percent of Hawaii Island’s electricity needs and displace approximately 280,000 barrels of imported oil per year.
For more information, www.huhonua.com

Inspiring the Next Generation of Engineers Through Summer Academy Experience

On July 20, 83 high school students successfully completed a 6-week course at Honolulu and Hawaiʻi Community Colleges. The Summer Engineering Academy is designed to engage high school students interested in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers.

Students learned the basics of electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and computer programming, including electronics, prototyping and writing code. In addition, they were introduced to college study skills, learned about the college admissions and financial aid process, and gained advanced math and science skills.

Throughout the summer experience, students met with project engineers during a field trip to the HART Waipahu Transit Center, and heard from organizations such as the Oceanit and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s College of Engineering and School of Architecture.

High school students visiting the Honolulu Authority Rapid Transportation Waipahu Transit Center.

“The summer engineering program was designed to help the students choose a career path in an engineering discipline they enjoy. With practical hands on experiences students get a first-hand taste of the type of work involved in various engineering careers,” shares Norman Takeya, assistant professor and coordinator of the Summer Engineering Academy.

New funding and program expansion

This is the fifth year Honolulu CC has offered this program that was initially funded by Hawaiʻi P–20. This year funding came from Representative Mark Nakashima’s Work Force Development Advisory Committee on STEM in partnership with the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations (DLIR). Additional funding came from the Fujio Matsuda Technology fund. This year’s funding allowed the program to be expanded to the Hawaiʻi Island where Hawaiʻi CC duplicated the program.

“We are so pleased to partner with Honolulu Community College in giving high school students a hands-on practical way to gain engineering and computer programming skills,” says DLIR Director, Linda Chu Takayama. “The problem-solving approach used in this project can be applied to any job because it fosters hard work, initiative, and teamwork, which are valued by all employers. This project also helps students define their educational and career goals, which make a smoother transition from school to work.”

Honolulu CC is committed to providing opportunities for students to learn more about STEM career fields. To learn more visit the Honolulu CC STEM website.

Hawaii Electric Light to Host Public Meetings on Plans to Upgrade Hawaii Island’s Power Grid

Hawaii Electric Light invites the community to public meetings next week to share its draft plan to modernize Hawaii Island’s power grid and seek input from the community

Open houses will be held on Monday, July 31, in the Waiakea High cafeteria in Hilo and on Tuesday, Aug. 1, in the Council Chambers at the West Hawaii Civic Center in Kona. Doors will open at 5:15 p.m. Company representatives will present an overview of the plan at 6 p.m., followed by a question-and-answer session

“Hawaii Electric Light has been effectively integrating renewable energy on our isolated island grid for many years, using innovative solutions to safely bring on more renewables while maintaining grid stability and reliable service,” said Jay Ignacio, Hawaii Electric Light president. “Since 2009, we’ve increased our renewable percentage from 30 to more than 54 percent, the highest in the state. To make the jump to 100 percent, we need to make the grid even better, stronger and smarter.”

The draft Grid Modernization Strategy filed with the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in June describes the scope and estimated $205 million cost to update the energy networks of Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light over the next six years. The plan aims to help bring on more renewable resources like private rooftop solar, increase reliability, and give customers new choices to control their energy use.

Highlights of this near-term work include:

  • Distribution of smart meters strategically rather than system-wide, i.e., to customers with private rooftop solar on saturated circuits; and customers interested in demand response programs, variable rates or who seek usage data;
  • Reliance on advanced inverter technology to enable greater rooftop solar adoption;
  • Expanded use of voltage management tools, especially on circuits with heavy solar penetration to maximize circuit capacities for private rooftop solar and other customer resources;
  • Expanded use of sensors and automated controls at substations and neighborhood circuits;
  • Enhanced outage management and notification technology.

Public comments gathered from this meeting and others held on Maui and Oahu will be included in the final plan to be submitted to the PUC at the end of August.

The draft plan and related documents are available at www.hawaiielectriclight.com/gridmod. Public comments on the plan can be submitted to gridmod@hawaiianelectric.com until Aug. 9, 2017

Hawaii Highways Project Data Now Available on HDOT Website

The Hawaii Department of Transportation (HDOT) Highways Division is making project status data available publically on the HDOT Website. Available data includes the schedule, scope, and estimated cost for all current State Highways projects as well as all projects planned to begin construction in the next two years. The data is open to the public and is accessible through the following link:

http://histategis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=f69cd64b5d9a43b08ad6620d07b5e4c4

“We are pleased to roll out the HDOT Highways Project Status Map,” said HDOT Deputy Director for Highways Ed Sniffen. “This map tool allows members of the public to easily access information on Highways projects in their community. I would like to thank Highways staff and the Office of Planning for their support in making this data widely available.”

The HDOT Highways Project Status Map can also be found on hidot.hawaii.gov by selecting Highways in the ‘Home’ menu, then going to ‘Major Projects’ and selecting ‘Project Map.”

Users can view project information by selecting the lines along roads on the map or by selecting “View a PDF list of Projects by Area” in the map legend. Users may also toggle between current construction projects and planned future construction using the tabs “Current Construction” and “Future Projects.”

The search feature represented by the magnifying glass symbol allows users to search for projects by entering any part of a project name. For example, beginning to input “Kamehameha” will show an auto complete list of the projects involving Kamehameha Highway.

The HDOT Highways Project Status Map will be updated on a regular basis. Questions or comments on the map may be sent to DOTPAO@hawaii.gov.

Why Mayor Kim Doesn’t Use a Government (.gov) Domain

The other day I was looking at Hawaii County Mayor Kim’s website and noticed that it didn’t have a .gov extension like all the other mayors in the State of Hawaii as well as many other mayors across the mainland and asked some of our local council members to look into why the Mayor wasn’t using a .gov account.

Councilwoman Karen Eoff inquired with the counties IT Director (Jules Ung) about the domain and she stated the following regarding the use of the domain:

Aloha Karen,

http://hawaiicountymayor.com/ is a domain that was registered and established by the previous administration.

When the new administration came on board in December 2016, site stats indicated over 2000 views that month with referrals from a variety of local sites including the Visitor’s Bureau, real estate businesses, local media, and search engines. From an SEO perspective it was beneficial to leverage the reach and rankings of the existing site to reach the broadest audience.

The current platform of http://www.hawaiicounty.gov/ is not dynamic and is incapable of hosting a blog.  So, the Mayor’s blog is utilizing WordPress at the .com site which for many bloggers is the preferred platform with convenient features.

Currently, plans are developing to move the County Website to a new secure, dynamic platform which can accommodate the Mayor’s Blog, as ideally, it would be an extension of the http://www.hawaiicounty.gov site.

Great questions and valid concerns from Damon.

mahalo,

Jules

Mayor Kim Writes in Opposition to Mandating Fire Sprinklers in All New One and Two Family Dwellings

Dear Ms. Marrone,

Subject: Opposition to Mandating Fire Sprinklers in All New One and Two Family Dwellings

The County of Hawaii supports the efforts of BIA Hawaii to remove Section 3 (the Sunset provision) of Act 83, SLH 2012. Removal of the sunset provision in this Act would prohibit the Counties from requiring the installation or retrofitting of automatic fire sprinklers or an automatic fire sprinkler system in most new construction of one or two family residential dwellings, which is currently mandated in the International Residential Code (IRC).

We understand and respect the position of the Fire Fighters in our community and remain committed to preventing loss of life and property through financially sensible building codes and ongoing community education.

At the same time, we in Hawaii are concerned about the dramatic increase in housing prices, especially for our first time home buyers and families. Adding the cost of a new automatic fire sprinkler system and required upgrades to water meters will add to the already high prices of housing in Hawaii.

We firmly believe that there are more cost effective methods of addressing the concerns raised by the fire protection organizations. These methods will not only protect fire fighters and homeowners but will NOT significantly increase the price of a new home in Hawaii.

As such, we are in full support of the proposed amendment to Act 83, SLH 2012 to delete the sunset provision of the bill.

Sincerely,

Mayor Harry Kim