The County of Hawai’i has won a national climate protection award from the United States Conference of Mayors for the Department of Water Supply’s Lālāmilo Windfarm project.
The Large City – Honorable Mention Award for Hawai’i County puts it in the company of three other Honorable Mention winners: Cleveland, Ohio; Columbia, South Carolina; and Cagus, Puerto Rico.
The Large City category is for cities or counties whose populations exceed 100,000. Only one other large city, First Place winner Long Beach, California, was in a tier above the Honorable Mentions.
“We are so happy for Hawai’i County to be recognized by this nationwide award,” said Mayor Harry Kim. “The Lālāmilo Windfarm is reducing greenhouse gas emissions significantly – and at no cost to Water Supply’s customers.”
The Windfarm officially opened for commercial operations in September 2016, with five turbines generating 3.3 megawatts of electricity with no-export to the grid. It contributes to the State of Hawai’i’s Clean Energy Initiative’s goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2045.
This project is arguably the first time in Hawai’i, and perhaps the nation, that a local government has developed such a wind-powered, water-pumping facility capable of significant greenhouse gas reductions at no cost to the taxpayer. The Windfarm is located on 78 acres adjacent to eight Department of Water Supply water wells in South Kohala.
The award to Hawai’i County was announced at a ceremony on Friday at the U.S. Mayor’s Conference annual meeting in Miami.