POSTED: Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hawaii gets $5.5M for grid project

The U.S. Department of Energy is awarding $5.5 million in stimulus funds to the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute at the University of Hawaii at Manoa to develop “;Smart Grid”; demonstration projects, U.S. Rep. Neil Abercrombie said in a news release.

Smart grids use computers and other technology to deliver electricity more efficiently to consumers.

The grant will help develop a “;dispatch-able distribution feeder for peak load reduction and wind farming,”; according to the news release.

“;I'm pleased that the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute is one of the research leaders selected to help demonstrate and promote the use of smart grid technology,”; said Abercrombie. “;A mature smart grid in our state, integrating power from wind farms, solar collectors and the other sources into the network that distributes electricity to our homes and offices, is fundamental to Hawaii's ability to achieve energy independence.”;

Temporary Manoa library will open Aug. 3 at school

The Manoa Public Library at 2716 Woodlawn Drive is being renovated to make way for a “;green”; library scheduled to open in 2011.

While the new library is being built, a temporary one will open across the street Aug. 3 at Noelani Elementary in two portable classrooms that will be donated to the school later.

A ceremony for the opening of the temporary facility will take place at 9 a.m. Saturday. It will include a traditional Hawaiian blessing and a procession of participants, who will transfer books from the old library.

Repairs will shut down library in Kailua-Kona

The Kailua-Kona Public Library will be closed from Saturday to Aug.10 to complete earthquake repairs, the state Public Library System announced.

Book drops will remain open and pickup dates for any holds will be extended.

The Big Island was shaken by a 6.7 quake and aftershock on Oct. 15, 2006.

Volunteer guides sought for Hanauma Bay work

Four workshops will be held Saturday mornings in August to train volunteers as interpretive guides at Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve.

The University of Hawaii Sea Grant Hanauma Bay Education Program is conducting the sessions at the bay.

Most volunteers commit to one four-hour shift per week for at least six months. Shifts run from 8 a.m. to noon and noon to 4 p.m. daily except Tuesday.

Participants at the workshops will learn about geological origins of southeast Oahu, the status of marine resources and steps being taken to protect them.

A completed application, interview and at least one day of working with a current volunteer are required. No experience is necessary. For more information, call 394-1374, e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or visit www.hanaumabayeducation.org.

Pump repairs replenish Molokai tanks

The Kualapuu well on Molokai has been repaired and is pumping water at a rate of 800 gallons per minute to a 1-million-gallon holding tank in Kaunakakai, Maui County announced yesterday.

Molokai crews from the Department of Water Supply and Department of Public Works, along with crews flown in from Maui's Water Department and the contractor, Beylik Drilling and Pumping, Inc., worked for nine days straight to fix the well.

Since July 17 residents and businesses were asked to cut back severely on non-essential water use so as to not diminish the limited amount of water in the holding tank.

Most at risk during the repairs were Molokai General Hospital and the local dialysis center.

Most of Molokai's 28 dialysis patients were temporarily relocated off island because of the risk of not having water required to run treatment equipment. All patients have since returned.

Water from the holding tank also fills fire hydrants in Kaunakakai and Kalae.