Part of our dedication to our customers, communities, and environment includes our commitment to keeping customer bills as low as possible and reducing our energy footprint. To that end, Hawaii Water Service recently installed a hydroturbine in Waikoloa on Big Island. The hydroturbine, which captures the energy created by flowing water, saves on electrical grid resources.
The clean energy produced by the flowing water produces up to 100kW of electricity and is sold to the local energy utility. The sale of this electricity offsets the utility’s cost of pumping the drinking water from the aquifer into the Hawaii Water system—savings that are then passed on to customers.
Hawaii Water’s Engineering Manager Stephen Green came up with the idea for the project nearly one decade ago. However, inception to completion required patience in order to develop an agreement with the electric company, apply for and receive Hawaii Public Utility Commission approval, obtain the equipment, and undertake a lengthy construction process.
“We knew we had this unique opportunity to utilize the natural energy produced from the movement of the water flows, but we didn’t have the resources to capture it,” Stephen said. “This hydroturbine gave us a vehicle to capture energy that normally dissipates, and we are proud to be able to add to the finite resource supply that is energy.”