I wonder how the possible changes to the lagoon may affect the people that live on the little islets in the lagoon? One of my dad's good friend's and family lives out on one of those little islands.
bunt_q, how's life going for you so far? BTW, don't miss Halloween in Waikiki--it's a blast and goes all night long to the break of dawn.
Plan to cool downtown by sea water advances
Source: Honolulu Star Bulletin
With an eye toward laying a pipe to deep water offshore, Honolulu Seawater Air Conditioning has contracted with Fugro Seafloor Surveys for detailed data using this autonomous underwater vehicle, shown off Honolulu with Koko Head in the distance.
Plans are moving forward on a project that intends to help the state take a huge step forward in its ambitious goal of energy independence.
Under the renewable energy project being developed by Honolulu Seawater Air Conditioning, dozens of downtown buildings would be cooled by chilled deep-ocean water pumped to the surface and circulated throughout their cooling systems.
Honolulu Seawater Air Conditioning, which has secured a commitment of $10.75 million in investments from about two dozen Hawaii companies, plans to break ground in June, and filed the draft environmental impact statement for the project last week.
"That is a huge milestone," said William Mahlum, the company's president and chief executive officer.
The draft EIS means processing now can begin on the project's various permits to move the plans forward.
State officials are keeping a close eye on how the project proceeds.
The deep sea water cooling system is one of the "top projects" being watched by the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism, which is charged with implementing the state's energy strategy.
"I am truly looking forward to them proving this concept in Honolulu," said Ted Liu, director of the department. "There are several other dense, urban areas that I think are extraordinarily appropriate for us to roll out this technology.
"In particular, I'm thinking Waikiki."
The concept is nothing new.
Chilled deep water has been used for two decades to cool buildings at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii at Keahole Point on the Big Island. Other systems have been in place for years at other areas - including Cornell University, Toronto and Scandinavia - where the location provides a deep-water source.
The Honolulu project - estimated at about $152 million - is perhaps one of the most ambitious.
Local investors include Makai Ocean Engineering, Yogi Kwong Engineers LLC, Ace Land Surveying, Lyon Associates Inc., InSynergy Engineering Inc. and The Environmental Co. Inc., among others, according to Honolulu Seawater Air Conditioning. An additional $100 million is coming from tax-exempt bonds authorized by the state Legislature, and $22 million is taxable debt, with the balance to be covered by construction equity.
The system would draw water from the ocean floor four miles off the Kakaako coast at a depth of 1,600 feet, where water temperature is 45 degrees year-round.
That water would be sucked up to a 25,000-square-foot pumping station, to be located near the Gold Bond Building in Kakaako, where it then would be distributed to the air-conditioning systems of public and private buildings in an area roughly bounded by Nuuanu Avenue, Vineyard Boulevard and Ward Avenue along the Kakaako shoreline.
Water is then pumped back out to sea to a warmer, shallower depth.
About 40 clients have stated an interest in converting to the sea water cooling system, officials say. Service would begin in November 2010.
The company estimates that converting to the renewable energy system could cut electrical use by as much as 75 percent.
"It's a very attractive thing to convert your building," Mahlum said. "Under our current presentation to customers, all customers save money the first year. They leave the electricity-intensive project, and they join our system and they save money."
The amount saved depends on the size and type of structure and its existing efficiency standards, he said.
Mahlum said the Public Utilities Commission recently approved a request by Hawaiian Electric Co. to provide a rebate of $300 per ton to help customers convert buildings to accommodate the system. For example, a 1,000-ton building would receive $300,000 to make renovations and improvements to handle the sea water system.
Lt. Gov. James "Duke" Aiona recently toured one such sea water air cooling station, during a break from activities at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minn., last month. Aiona toured the Ever-Green Energy cooling station that provides service to utility company District Energy St. Paul. Honolulu Seawater Air Conditioning is an affiliate of District Energy.
"It's an impressive use of technology, very efficient, so I'm excited," Aiona said after touring the plant. "To think that it will be online, hopefully within a couple years, is even more exciting."
<< Updates to some of the city's projects >>[/b]
High rises, low sales
It's not good news obviously but it's to be expected in this economic downturn.
Source: Honolulu Advertiser
Two years ago, a planned residential tower makai of McKinley High School was virtually sold out after experiencing a rush of demand that included a lottery where buyers far outnumbered available units. But today, with tower construction nearing the halfway point, fewer than half the units still have committed buyers.
The market turmoil, which over the last few weeks has become uglier and uglier, is icing sales at nearly a half-dozen major Honolulu condo projects — planned, under construction or complete — with significant inventories to sell.
One high-rise planned in Kaka'ako between Pi'ikoi and Kamake'e streets has been put on hold, and analysts say it has become more difficult for any new plans to get out of the ground.
Moana Vista, a planned 492-unit condo at 1009 Kapi'olani Blvd. makai of McKinley, appeared it would be among the batch of Honolulu's home-run high-rise projects. Two years ago, 466 prospective buyers entered a lottery to buy 192 units reserved at Moana Vista for owner-occupants. Strong investor interest resulted in the balance of units being nearly sold out, save 126 units being kept as rentals under an affordable housing requirement.
But today, only 160 nonbinding reservations remain for the 366 for-sale units. That's 44 percent of the inventory before buyers are asked later this year to sign binding purchase contracts requiring a 10 percent deposit.
Projects in Limbo
A California company that bought 5.2 acres in Kaka'ako nearly two years ago said last September it intended to begin building a 295-unit tower between existing luxury high-rises Hawaiki and Ko'olani just 'ewa of Ala Moana Center by the end of this year.
But that project has been put on hold, according to D. Scott MacKinnon, a Honolulu attorney representing landowner Woodridge Capital LLC.
"Credit is basically unavailable," he said. "There are no plans right now to proceed."
Another previously announced project, a 120-unit condo at 1700 Kalakaua Ave. in Pawa'a, was called off earlier this year after the developer sold the land in February.
A third potential project is a luxury condo up to 250 feet high envisioned by Sam House Development LLC, which bought a lot on Kapi'olani fronting Ala Moana Center in June 2007, though no timetable for proceeding has been announced.
1. 1723 Kalakaua, a 120-unit condo in Pawa'a near the Hawai'i Convention Center planned by a San Francisco construction company.
2. 176-unit high-rise at 1315 Kalakaua Ave. in Pawa'a. That project, called Holomua, is trying to obtain county approval to exceed the area's building height in return for offering 51 percent of the units at affordable prices to buyers with low to moderate incomes.