Categorized | Business, Energy, Environment, Featured

North Kohala Public Library generated more energy than it used in May

North Kohala Public Library's photovoltaic energy system panels can be seen on the left side of the roof.  Photo courtesy of HSPLS.

North Kohala Public Library's photovoltaic energy system panels can be seen on the left side of the roof. Photo courtesy of HSPLS.

MEDIA RELEASE

North Kohala Public Library has reached another milestone, as it generated more energy than it consumed during the month of May. The Hawaii State Public Library System’s newest library opened last November at 54-3645 Akoni Pule Highway. This “green” library on the island of Hawaii, normally generates two-thirds of its own energy, but in May it produced two more kilowatt hours of electricity than it used during the month.

Two wind energy turbines (right) help to generate electricity for North Kohala Public Library (in background).  Photo is courtesy of North Kohala Public Library.

Two wind energy turbines (right) help to generate electricity for North Kohala Public Library (in background). Photo is courtesy of North Kohala Public Library.

The 6,000 square foot, $7.8 million dollar building was designed by CDS International, and includes creative and innovative design features such as wind and photovoltaic energy systems, water catchment and retention systems, and design elements to maximize ambient lighting and ventilation. The Library is a model for energy efficiency and sustainability, and is in alignment with Governor Neil Abercrombie’s “New Day” plan to make more State Government buildings energy efficient.

“North Kohala Public Library is located in a unique land area where truly all the stars aligned to make this happen,” said architect Glenn Miura of CDS International. “North Kohala is one of the best places in the islands for wind turbines because winds blowing in from the Pacific Ocean converge at the northern tip of the Big Island. Upcountry Kohala’s sunny, cool days provide the perfect weather conditions for the photovoltaic panels.”

“Thus, we were blessed by the sun, the wind, plus the boundless enthusiasm of the people of Kohala that was demonstrated by the “Huki Puke” (“passing of the books”) last October when more than 1,000 community volunteers formed a ‘human chain’ to pass several thousand books over a mile from the “old” Bond Memorial Public Library to the “new” North Kohala Public Library. I made the trip from Oahu just to be part of this once-in-a-lifetime event,” Miura said.

“When the weather conditions are just right,” said Janet Lam, branch manager of North Kohala Public Library, “this building can produce all of the energy it needs.”

“Last December, after the Library had been open for just one month, the wind and photovoltaic energy systems began generating electricity soon after the systems were up and running,” she said. “It was a nearly weather-less day – no sun and no wind – yet we were generating electricity!”

“The future looks bright for North Kohala Public Library,” said Lam. “We are very excited about the unlimited potential and monetary savings that our alternate energy systems can offer.”

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