Hawaii’s First Seawater Air-Conditioning Project to Start Construction
- May 04, 2012
by Adriana Pop, Associate Editor
Honolulu Seawater Air Conditioning, LLC (HSWAC) is moving closer to begin construction on the state’s first seawater air-conditioning district cooling project. The Pacific Business News reports that the company is one month from choosing contractors to develop the $250 million renewable energy system in Kakaako.
The seawater air conditioning firm plans to build a pumping station and cooling facility on a 30,000 square-foot parcel behind the Gold Bond Building on Ala Moana Boulevard and install an underground network of 15,000 feet of pipeline that will serve at least 12 downtown Honolulu streets.
Construction is slated to start this year, with service to customers beginning in 2013-2014. According to Bill Mahlum, the company’s president and CEO, the development of the project is expected to be completed in 19 months and create more than 900 jobs.
Seawater air conditioning is a proven technology that provides reliable 24/7 climate control. It works by pumping deep, cold seawater to an exchange facility where the coldness in the water is transferred into a fresh-water loop that is pumped to customers through a network of distribution pipes.
About 40 local businesses plan to utilize HSWAC’s service. First Hawaiian Bank signed on as one of the company’s first customers, along with One Waterfront Towers and Hawaiian Electric Company.
When fully implemented, HSWAC’s cooling system will help cut Hawaii’s fossil fuels dependence by eliminating the need for 178,000 barrels of oil annually. Electrical demand will decrease by up to 75 percent, saving enough electricity to power more than 10,000 homes a year, the company said. Furthermore, the project will reduce potable water consumption for air conditioning by more than 260 million gallons, reduce sewage discharge by up to 84 million gallons, and decrease the state’s carbon footprint by avoiding emissions of 84,000 tons of carbon dioxide – the equivalent of annually removing 15,000 cars from the road.