Governor presents $450,000 grant to Filipino Community Center

Image: Governor's Office
Image: Governor's Office

WAIPAHU, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Gov. Neil Abercrombie Monday presented a $450,000 check to The Filipino Community Center, Inc. (FilCom), representing the recent release of a state capital improvement grant for installation of a photovoltaic (PV) system.

"This project will produce electricity for the FilCom Center that will substantially reduce its electric bills and move our community toward energy independence," said Gov. Abercrombie. "The FilCom Center will use the savings to expand its services while perpetuating the Filipino heritage within the larger multi-cultural community in Hawaii."

Appropriated by the 2012 Legislature, the grant will be used to construct and install a roof-mounted, micro-inverter, internet monitoring PV system that is expected to produce approximately 114,000 kWh of power per year, or about 40 percent of FilCom's current electricity usage. The installation is scheduled to be completed within six months.

"The use of solar energy is not only good for the environment but will also create a substantial amount of savings to the Filipino Community Center," said Edmund Aczon, FilCom board chair. "That savings can be used to expand the center's many social and human services programs that benefit the Filipino community and the larger community as a whole."

The three-story, 50,000-square foot FilCom Center is the largest Filipino community center in the United States and outside of the Philippines. The FilCom Center was formally dedicated in June 2002, almost a century after the first 15 Filipino farmers sailed for Hawaii on board the SS Doric in 1906. By 2000, there were approximately 200,000 Americans of Filipino ancestry in Hawaii making up about 15 percent of the state's population. The facility benefits the entire community as a central venue for events and activities.

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