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November 14, 2017

Hawaii to use seawater to cool state office buildings in Honolulu

Categories: Energy

Published in the Pacific Business News on November 14, 2017

The state of Hawaii on Tuesday said it reached a preliminary agreement with Honolulu Seawater Air Conditioning to cool seven state office buildings and the state Capitol, a move that could save taxpayers more than $1.4 million a year.

Under the terms of the agreement, HSWAC will deliver chilled fresh water to air condition the eight state buildings in Downtown Honolulu. According to a statement from the department, the planned switch to chilled water will reduce state electricity consumption by more than 5.3 million kilowatt-hours each year.

Based on the latest figure from the Hawaii State Energy Office, which shows an electricity price of 26.53 cents per kilowatt-hour during June 2017, the switch could save taxpayers more than $1.4 million annually.

Additionally, the state Department of Accounting and General Services said that potable water consumption is expected to drop by 11.4 million gallons per year and sewage discharge will be reduced by over 1.7 million gallons annually in buildings covered by the preliminary agreement.

“Using water largely chilled by the ocean instead of our own electric chillers for our air conditioning needs should result in significant environmental benefits at no additional cost to the taxpayer,” state Comptroller Roderick Becker said in a statement.