The Big Island is aptly named not just because of its size, but because the island leads the state in renewable energy generation with 32 percent of their energy coming from renewable resources, mainly geothermal power. Unfortunately, the county itself is one of the biggest users of energy on the island, according to Mayor William P. Kenoi. The county recently acknowledged their grandiose energy budget and decided to scale back in more ways than one.
First up on the energy audit was the recently renovated county building in Hilo, where a 100-kilowatt photovoltaic system is being installed to power the building with solar power. In addition to the solar takeover, 21 parking stalls at the building are being equipped with facilities for plug-in electric vehicles. On the leeward side of the island, the West Hawai'i county building, which is still under construction, will be outfitted with a 400-kilowatt photovoltaic system and offer 14 parking stalls for recharging electric plug-in vehicles.
To make sure the county is doing all it can to turn the tide and become energy efficient, the mayor has appointed an internal, multi-departmental "green team" to help the county mitigate their energy consumption and do all they can to make the switch to renewable energy. Mayor Kenoi is also selecting appointees to an energy advisory committee who will be charged with giving the island an all-encompassing energy audit, focusing on ways for the island of Hawai'i to be more self-sufficient.