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Ulupono Initiative Invests $1 Million In Honolulu Seawater Air Conditioning

Ulupono Initiative announced today that it has invested $1 million in Honolulu Seawater Air Conditioning, LLC (HSWAC) for the development of the company’s seawater air conditioning district cooling system.


“This investment will help HSWAC begin construction in 2014 of one of the largest energy-efficiency projects in Hawaii,” said Murray Clay, managing partner of Ulupono Initiative. “The system promises significant savings in energy that will help move us closer to our goal of more renewable energy use for the state.”

When it begins operation, HSWAC’s district cooling system will eliminate the need for 178,000 barrels of oil per year by saving enough electricity to power more than 10,000 homes. The system will provide an alternative to using imported fossil fuels to cool downtown Honolulu, which will decrease the island’s environmental footprint and the state’s oil dependency.

“We are extremely pleased to be working with Ulupono on this project,” said Eric Masutomi, president and CEO of Honolulu Seawater Air Conditioning. “Not only do the missions of both organizations – to create a more sustainable future for Hawaii – align perfectly, Ulupono’s investment represents a strong vote of confidence in the potential of HSWAC’s deep seawater cooling technology to greatly improve the quality of life in our island community.”

“It’s fully proven at multiple locations in Europe and the United States, so there is zero technological risk,” said Clay. “And, the system also saves significant amounts of fresh water, when compared to conventional cooling.”

The system will cool water to provide air conditioning to buildings in downtown Honolulu by pumping deep ocean water through a pipeline more than four miles offshore to a cooling station in Kakaako.

About 70 percent of a building owner’s air conditioning cost typically goes toward operating cooling systems that include on-site chillers, condenser pumps and cooling towers. Operating costs prove volatile, as they are affected by increasing costs of electricity, water, wastewater and other infrastructure expenses.

District cooling creates a way to convert large blocks of buildings to energy-efficiency measures rather than one at a time. This project is expected to create the opportunity for expansion of district cooling projects across the state.

Additional project partners include the Capital Cooling Group and Renewable Energy Innovations (REI). Capital Cooling, the leading European deep-water cooling expert, is serving as a management consultant as well as a $500,000 co-investor with Ulupono on this Hawaii project. Capital Cooling was also involved in the 80,000-ton deepwater air conditioning project in Stockholm, and REI, through its affiliated company Ever-Green Energy, owns and operates district cooling and heating systems in Minnesota. Other team members are Hawaii-based Makai Ocean Engineering, involved in the 20,000-ton deepwater air conditioning project built in 2000 in Ithaca, N.Y.; R.M. Towill Corporation; Yogi Kwong Engineers; and InSynergy Engineering.  All three are well-known Hawai‘i design companies in the fields of civil, geotechnical and mechanical engineering.

The HSWAC system annually reduces potable water consumption for air conditioning by more than 260 million gallons. Each year it also reduces sewage discharge by up to 84 million gallons, and avoids emissions of 84,000 tons of carbon dioxide. Combined, this is the equivalent of removing 15,000 cars from the road per year. The project is anticipated to generate more than $200 million in construction spending in Honolulu and create more than 900 construction jobs.

The team estimates the new system will reduce electricity usage by 77,000 MWh per year, which is the equivalent of a 30-megawatt wind farm; or a 53-megawatt solar farm, more than all of the utility scale photovoltaic systems currently operating in Hawai‘i.  Customers who have already signed on include Hawaiian Electric Co., Finance Factors, First Hawaiian Center, and One Waterfront Towers.

Neighborhood Place of Puna Car Wash to Help East Hawaii Families

The Neighborhood Place of Puna will be holding a car wash this Saturday, August 10th at the Ohana Fuels location at  Puainako (Minit Stop), from 9 am – noon.

Puainako Minit Stop

Neighborhood Place of Puna’s goal is to ensure that families have access to the resources and skills they need to raise safe and healthy children.

All donations received will go to help East Hawaii families.  Additionally, a portion of every sale of Ohana Fuels gas, between July and September 30th, will be donated to Neighborhood Place of Puna.

Mahalo to Ohana Fuels for their support of healthy and safe East Hawaii families.

Big Island Police Asking Public’s Help in Identifying Credit Card Thief

Hawaiʻi Island police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a man wanted for using a stolen credit card.

Have you seen this man?

Have you seen this man?

An unidentified man used the stolen card on June 26 to purchase two flat-screen televisions at a store in Kona. He was seen driving away in what appeared to be a red four-door sports-utility vehicle. His image, which was captured on a surveillance camera, is posted on the Police Department’s website at www.hawaiipolice.com.

Police ask anyone who recognizes the man in the photo to call Lieutenant Gerald Wike at 326-4646, extension 266, or the Police Department’s non-emergency line at 935-3311.

Tipsters who prefer to remain anonymous may call Crime Stoppers at 961-8300 in Hilo or 329-8181 in Kona and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. Crime Stoppers is a volunteer program run by ordinary citizens who want to keep their community safe. Crime Stoppers doesn’t record calls or subscribe to caller ID. All Crime Stoppers information is kept confidential.


Governor Releases $12.9 Million for National Guard, Civil Defense and Health Facilities on Oahu and Big Island

Gov. Neil Abercrombie today announced the release of more than $12.9 million for capital improvement projects (CIPs) that include priority work at National Guard and State Civil Defense facilities, repairs and energy cost-saving measures for health facilities, and a new home for the Youth Challenge Academy program on the Big Island.

“Our recent brush with Tropical Storm Flossie highlights the need for enhanced National Guard, emergency management and health facilities, and these funds will strengthen our state’s disaster preparedness capabilities,” Gov. Abercrombie said. “The Youth Challenge Academy program, by working with island youth, is likewise an investment in the self-reliance of our future community members and leaders. I thank our state legislators for recognizing these projects that improve our ability to serve the people of Hawaii.”

Allotment of funds for the following priority projects, identified by members of the state Legislature, has been approved by the Governor:

National Guard / Civil Defense

$5,900,000 – Keaukaha Military Reservation, Hawaii Island – Construction of one, 100-person billet to house the cadets of the Youth Challenge Academy at the Keaukaha Military Reservation (KMR), as well as renovation of Building 621 for the addition of restrooms and other miscellaneous facility and infrastructure improvements (The relocation of the Hawaii National Guard’s Youth Challenge Academy campus on the Big Island from the Kulani Correctional Facility to KMR is expected to provide cost savings, mostly from utilities, that directly translate into the potential for increasing the number of cadets allowed into the program; additional benefits include improved proximity to medical facilities in Hilo and National Guard resources and personnel)

$4,050,000 – National Guard Facilities, statewide – Design and construction for upgrades and improvements to National Guard facilities statewide, including major renovations in the mauka and makai wings of Building 46 at Kalaeloa, Oahu (electrical, water, sewer, and air conditioning)

$500,000 – Army Guard Facilities, Oahu – Construction to renovate Hawaii Army National Guard Facilities at Kalaeloa, Oahu, including renovation of Buildings 282 and 1784, as well as various utilities improvements (These funds are necessary in order to receive federal funds; total project cost is $19,800,000 with $2,300,000 in state funds and $16,500,000 in federal funds)

State Civil Defense Building

State Civil Defense Building

$225,000 – State Civil Defense, Building 303, Oahu – Design and construction to provide exterior building hardening improvements at  Building 303, which houses the Emergency Operating Center Annex, the State Media Center, Joint Information Center, administrative offices, and emergency equipment and supplies within Diamond Head Crater; the project includes upgrades to the roof, walls, windows, doors, and other building components that are vulnerable to high winds and flying debris (These funds are necessary in order to receive federal funds; total project cost is $900,000 with $225,000 in state funds and $675,000 in federal funds)

Health Facilities

$1,000,000 – Leahi Hospital, Oahu – Design, construction and equipment to install a photovoltaic system to reduce electricity costs

Leahi Health Center

Leahi Hospital

$650,000 – Maluhia Hospital, Oahu – Design and construction to replace existing windows that have deteriorated and need to be replaced to improve the building envelope

$535,000 – Maluhia Hospital, Oahu – Replacement of the existing retaining wall along Keola Road that has deteriorated

$75,000 – Hale Hoola Hamakua Hospital, Hawaii Island – Completion of an energy audit and installation of energy-saving equipment such as variable frequency drives, controlling devices or programs, or modify existing systems


Safeway Hawaii Foundation Grants $10,000 in Scholarships to 10 Hawaii Students

The Safeway Hawaii Foundation Scholarship Fund has awarded $1,000 scholarships to 10 Hawaii students to assist them in pursuing higher education at colleges and universities.

(Left to right) Lesah Merritt, Safeway Kapa'a Store Manager and Tanya Kalama, Safeway Hawaii Foundation Scholarship recipient. Photo courtesy of Safeway Hawaii

Lesah Merritt, Safeway Kapa’a Store Manager and Tanya Kalama, Safeway Hawaii Foundation Scholarship recipient. Photo courtesy of Safeway Hawaii

“Education is key to the success and future of our community, which is why we continue supporting the Safeway Hawaii Foundation Scholarship,” said George Glukfeld, Safeway Hawaii district manager. “We are pleased to contribute to the educational journey of these outstanding students.”

Now in its fourth year, the fund provides scholarship opportunities to current and past Safeway employees and their descendants. Students applied through the Hawaii Community Foundation, which administers the fund. They were required to have maintained a 3.0 grade point average, with preference given to students planning to attend a college or university in Hawaii.

“The Safeway Hawaii Foundation fund at the Hawaii Community Foundation is an important and much needed resource for Hawaii’s students continuing a higher education,” said Darcie Yukimura, Hawaii Community Foundation senior philanthropic services officer. “Through Safeway’s generous efforts, ten students from across the state are benefiting from this program and are one step closer to their educational goals.”

The recipients are as follows:


  • Lakisha-Kyrie Victorino-Hose, Hilo, University of Hawaii at Hilo


  • Tanya Kalama, Lihue, Kauai Community College


  • Kainoa Bryant, Wahiawa, University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • Brittany Correa, Waimanalo, University of Hawaii at Manoa
  • Kristie Ann Gose, Waipahu, Windward Community College
  • Gabriella Kuoha, Kaneohe, Hawaii Tokai International College
  • Kahiau McKeague, Waimanalo, Chaminade University of Honolulu
  • Tracy Ng, Honolulu, University of Hawaii at Hilo
  • Malia Ramiro, Kaneohe, Kapiolani Community College
  • Sara Teixeira, Kapolei, Hawaii Pacific University

Lawmakers Listen Meeting in Kona

Representative Nicole Lowen presents “Lawmakers Listen”.

  • WHAT:  A community meeting hosted by Representative Nicole Lowen and joined by House leadership to brief the community of the 2013 legislative session and hear feedback on issues that matter to constituents
  • WHEN:  Tuesday, August 6, 2013,  6:00 P.M. to 7:30 P.M.
  • WHERE:  Kealakehe High School Cafeteria, 74-5000 Puohulihuli Street, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii 96740
  • WHO:  State Representative Nicole Lowen, Speaker Joseph Souki, Vice Speaker John Mizuno, Majority Leader Scott Saiki, Chair of Finance Sylvia Luke, Majority Floor Leader Karen Awana, and State Representatives Angus McKelvey and Chris Lee


Lawmakers Listen