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Energy upgrades coming to Hawaii airports

By Brenton Awa
Published On: Dec 18 2013 03:13:00 PM HST
Updated On: Dec 18 2013 07:45:46 PM HST

Gov. Neil Abercrombie has unveiled a project to increase the energy efficiency of the Honolulu International Airport.

HONOLULU -

Unprecedented changes are coming to our airports across the state.

Click here to watch Brenton Awa's report.


Wednesday the Governor unveiled a project that will affect everyone from tourists to residents.

In just about a month the Honolulu International Airport will start its transformation into becoming energy efficient.

"This energy conservation project will set an example for the entire nation," said Governor Neil Abercrombie. "This is not just something that's going to happen out here in Hawaii."

Other airports across the state will follow suit, and in two years 12 airports will be complete

Our airports are the third largest energy consumer in the state.

The plan aims to cut costs by upgrading out-of-date equipment.

What you'll see is a change from the current lightbulbs to LED lighting.

What you may not notice is a roof full of solar panels.

What you're sure to feel is an upgrade to the air conditioning system, which can currently run too cold.

"The largest new source of clean energy in Hawaii in the past year hasn't been wind. It hasn't been geothermal. It hasn't even been rooftop solar," said Jeff Mikulina, CEO of the Blue Planet Foundation. "It's actually been energy savings."

The project comes with a price-tag of $150 million, awarded to Johnson Controls who says the airport will cut its energy use in half and save the state at least $518 million in costs over the next 20-years.

"This is money earned as well," Abercrombie added. "We're scoring savings simply by not having to lay the dollars out that will leave the state for fuel consumption."

The contractor is guaranteeing the savings, and also says the upgrades should make a trip through the airport more comfortable for flyers.

"That'll be the first thing they see when they get here and that will be the last thing that they see and fell when they leave," said Vice President of Johnson Controls, Joseph Walicki.

It'll also bring in over 400 jobs, and the governor says the savings will directly affect our local economy.

"The more efficiently the airport system operates, the more benefit comes in dollar terms and prosperity terms for everybody in the state," Abercrombie concluded.

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