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Honolulu Looks to Use Seawater to Cool Office Buildings

The Honolulu Department of Accounting and General Services (DAGS) and Honolulu Seawater Air Conditioning (HSWAC) have reached preliminary agreement for the delivery of chilled fresh water to air condition eight DAGS facilities in downtown Honolulu.

At Gov. David Ige’s direction, DAGS has been exploring ways to support the state’s 100 percent renewable energy goals and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The department anticipates that the planned switch to chilled water service will reduce state consumption of electricity by over 5.3 million kilowatt hours each year and avoid the production of 10 million pounds of carbon dioxide annually. Additionally, 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 yearly 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,” said Roderick Becker, Comptroller.
The eight buildings covered under the preliminary agreement are:

  • Keoni Ana (1170 Alakea St.)
  • Kalanimoku (1151 Punchbowl St.)
  • Keelikolani (830 Punchbowl St.)
  • Kinau Hale (1250 Punchbowl St.)
  • Leiopapa A Kamehameha (235 S Beretania St.)
  • Queen Liliuokalani (1390 Miller St.)
  • No. 1 Capitol District Building (250 South Hotel St.)
  • State Capitol (415 S. Beretania St.)
The preliminary agreement demonstrates the state’s commitment to expand renewable energy use and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In 2015, Gov. Ige signed into law the aggressive clean energy goal of generating 100 percent of electricity sales from renewable resources by 2045. This year, Gov. Ige also signed SB 559 into law (Act 032), making Hawai‘i the first state to enact legislation that implements portions of the Paris climate agreement.


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