State on Hawaii Capital District Clean Energy Projects to Save 30 Percent in Energy Costs

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HONOLULU – The State of Hawai’i’s Department of Accounting and General Services (DAGS) has completed the installation of 1,005 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on the Kalanimoku Building in the downtown Honolulu Capital District as part of the State’s ongoing efforts to lead by example in reducing Hawai’i’s dependence on imported oil.  The system is already saving   12 percent of the building’s use, resulting in $300 of daily savings in electricity costs.

Energy-saving projects in nine other buildings in the Capitol District are scheduled for completion in September. The Capitol District projects are expected to save the State 30 percent in utility costs.


Kalanimoku’s PV panels, each rated at 236.2 watts of direct current (DC) power generating capacity, has been producing electricity at or above its expected monthly output. Annually, the system will generate a minimum of 296,849 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of clean energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 500,000 pounds (carbon dioxide equivalents). Depending on weather conditions, the PV system could produce as much as 374,810 kWh each year for a reduction of 564,000 pounds of green house gas emissions.

A public information kiosk on the ground floor lobby displays the output of the PV system and will eventually have energy efficiency information for the 10 Capital District state buildings.

“The Kalanimoku Building is a great example of how best to use clean energy to reduce our use of imported oil, keep the money we would have spent on oil in our economy, and save taxpayer dollars.  The Capital District includes other examples of being green and I am confident that we’re moving closer towards our goal of 70 percent clean energy for Hawai’i,” said Richard Lim director of the State Department of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism (DBEDT). The Kalanimoku Building PV project is made possible by $2.97 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant provided by the U.S. Department of Energy through DBEDT’s Energy Office.

“It is imperative that we aggressively implement actions to make our facilities more energy efficient, and environmentally sustainable,” said Bruce Coppa, director of the State Accounting and General Services.  “To ensure our commitment, we are developing another energy savings performance contracting project involving 30 more of our DAGS buildings statewide.  Efficiency and sustainability are where we need to be in our State facilities.”

The Kalanimoku PV project is part of the $33.9 million Energy Savings Performance Contracting (ESPC) project awarded by DAGS in 2009 to improve the energy efficiency for 10 office buildings, located in the downtown State Capital District, with high annual utility bills. The ESPC project will reduce total energy consumption in the 10 buildings by about 30 percent, about 6.3 million kWh of energy per year, enough to power more than 10,000 homes. The 10 buildings are the State Capitol, Kalanimoku, Ke‘elikolani, Kekauluohi (State Archives), Kekaunaoa, Keoni Ana, Kinau Hale, Queen Lili‘uokalani, No. 1 Capitol District, and Leioopapa-a-Kamehameha.

Energy conservation measures being implemented under the ESPC project include a new energy management system for all 10 buildings, improvements to air conditioning equipment, lighting systems, water conservation, weather-based control for landscape irrigation systems, building envelope modifications, desktop computer power management, and an energy conservation educational program for building occupants. Implementation is about 80 percent complete and Noresco performance guarantees are expected to start by September 2011.

The State of Hawai’i’s most important economic enterprise is to pursue energy independence by building a clean energy economy and reaching 70% clean energy by 2030. The DBEDT State Energy Office’s mission is to act as a catalyst for creating efficiency measures, renewable energy resources, transportation initiatives, and progressive policy that lead to green jobs and investments in Hawai’i’s economy.  For more information, visit


Lois Hamaguchi is an Administrator Energy Analyst with DBEDT’s State Energy Office





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