by Senior Airman Orlando Corpuz
154th Wing Public Affairs
10/29/2015 - JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii -- The
Hawaii Air National Guard's 154th Civil Engineering Squadron held a
groundbreaking ceremony for a future solar array facility here Oct. 27.
When completed, the solar array, under optimal conditions, will produce
close to 750 kilowatts per hour, which would reduce annual electricity
expenses by $830,000.
"The purpose of this project is to reduce the energy cost for the Hawaii
Air National Guard," said Air Force Capt. Nhut Dao, chief of
engineering for the 154th Civil Engineering Squadron. "On average the
HIANG pays eight million dollars a year for energy costs."
The solar farm is being constructed on the former parking lot of the CE
squadron and is the first phase of the three-phase plan to HIANG's
renewable energy strategy.
Phase one involved the F-22 aircraft bed-down with installation of PV
systems on various operations, maintenance, and support facilities.
Phase two includes the installation and building of four additional PV
units on the HIANG grounds.
Deployment of wind power, waste to energy conversion systems as well as
hydrogen to energy conversion capabilities are hallmarks of the third
"Because the (energy) cost is so high, we're doing everything we can to
reduce that energy cost by looking at every option we have when it comes
to renewable energy." said Dao.
The plan was developed through a partnership with state, federal, and commercial energy experts.
"This wasn't just about the HIANG. We partnered with multiple agencies
in order to make this project a reality," said Dao. "The Air Force Civil
Engineering Center, National Guard Bureau, and Hawaii Center for
Advance Transportation Technology... all played a big part in making
this project happen."
Decreasing the HIANG's energy cost was not the only goal of the project.
According to Dao, the focus on renewable energy increases energy
security by mitigating a heavy reliance on the existing electrical
distribution grid. "Should the grid go out for whatever reason, we still
would have the electrical resources available to continue with our
mission." said Dao.
The HIANG anticipates its electrical energy expense to be net zero once
all renewable energy methods have been completed and fully implemented.
"Everyone is really pushing for the HIANG to be a showcase for renewable energy." said Dao.