Department of Education unveils landmark program

Department of Education unveils landmark program

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Kaimuki High School became the confluence of sustainable energy and academics Wednesday morning.

State Superintendent Kathryn Matayoshi unveiled a landmark multi-pronged initiative named Ka Hei.  Ka Hei combines the installation of sustainable energy equipment at public schools with a curriculum to complement it.

"The Department's new Ka Hei program will integrate innovative energy technology with meaningful learning experiences, all while reducing energy costs" she said.

Over the next five year Chevron Energy Solutions will be installing the equipment.

"We expect to install around 100 megawatts of clean renewable energy.  We expect to reduce energy consumption at all the schools by 25% and we plan to reduce water usage by 30%" said Brian Kealoha of Chevron Energy Solutions.  Those savings could amount to $24 million over the five year program.

The curriculum will be part of the STEM Academy at Kaimuki High starting in the fall.  STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

"The students will be getting data and information about those new technologies.  So they'll be able to track, for example, energy consumption over the course of the day" Matayoshi explained.

While the goal of the energy solutions is to save on cost and increase energy independence, for the students the impact could be far greater.

Said Matayoshi, "as they learn about their technology, I think they're going to start really thinking about what is it for them? Is this something that might be a career?"

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