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The Honolulu Board of Water Supply (BWS) held a brief blessing ceremony on Saturday, October 21, at its Public Service Building for the Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) with NORESCO, LLC.
The BWS entered into the public-private partnership in 2016 to allow the water agency to implement comprehensive energy efficiency, renewable energy generation, and operational improvements that guarantee enough energy savings over the next 20 years to pay for the $33 million contract.
The ceremony was conducted by Rev. Curt Kekuna from Kawaiahao Church. Prior to the blessing, BWS Manager and Chief Engineer Ernest Lau and NORESCO Construction Manager Rick Ellis shared remarks with the audience about the significance of the project and the various energy conservation measures that will be implemented, including photovoltaic installations at the BWS’s Beretania headquarters and 37 other facilities throughout the island.
Among those also in attendance were City Council Member Carol Fukunaga; BWS Board member Ray Soon; Ka‘anohi Kaleikini, representing the descendants of the ahupua‘a of Honolulu and the kupuna who lived in the area; BWS Stakeholder Advisory Group member Cruz Vina, Jr.; and BWS staff, including ESPC project team members Marc Chun, David Nagamine, and Heather Iwasaki.
The BWS is the first county water utility in Hawaii to execute an ESPC, an alternative project delivery approach that allows a government agency to enter into a long-term partnership with an energy service company (ESCO) to facilitate and accelerate energy conservation measures, or ECMs, to generate enough cost savings to cover project costs over the term of the contract.
ECMs are determined and designed by the ESCO, after it conducts a comprehensive energy audit on the agency, to meet the agency’s specific energy savings needs. Any cost savings from this project will be reinvested in additional energy-saving projects and will not affect water rates.
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