we also have to take into consideration
Covanta Honolulu at Kapolei facility
a lot of lockout, tagout procedures from
both a mechanical standpoint and an
Power generated at the Kauai facil-
ity is being sold to KIUC under a PPA
approved by the Hawaii Public Utilities
Commission in October 2011. When fin-
ished, the biomass-to-energy facility will
contribute approximately 12. 4 percent of
total Kauai energy, helping KIUC reach
its goal of 50 percent renewable-energy
generation by 2023, a move toward
Hawaii’s RPS mandate.
American Electric was also the electrical
contractor on the 2009–2012, $302 million
expansion of Covanta Honolulu in Kapolei.
Covanta Energy was the designer,
builder and operator of the facility, known
as Honolulu Program of Waste Energy
Recovery (HPOWER), owned by the city
and county of Honolulu, which began
commercial operation in May 1990. It processes municipal solid waste and scraps
from paper trash to create electricity and
serve the municipal waste-disposal needs
of Oahu’s 850,000-plus residents and its
millions of yearly visitors. Parsons Corp.
was the general contractor.
“The result of the expansion is that
the city and county of Honolulu was
able to shut down a landfill,” O’Reilly
said. “Now all of the trash on the island
of Oahu is processed through HPOWER.
The burning of trash creates steam and
the plant makes electricity for the local
power company. Technology has come a
long way as far as waste management and
trash burning. The challenge in working
on the Kapolei facility project was that
we were working around an existing
plant. Trash trucks were coming and
going, dropping off their loads. Buildings
that had to be constructed for the expansion were spread out so as to fit in certain
locations. The job was spread out over a
large industrial complex. The cooling
tower was set up in the back of the construction site, the turbine generator was
in the middle and the boiler was set up
on the front side. Because of that, we had
some long cable pulls.
“We had a lot of issues related to pull-
ing approximately 800,000 linear feet of
cable since the electrical crews were in
different buildings and different locations.
We managed it by setting up a crew per
building or per area with different fore-
men in each building. Cable trays that we
installed went from building to building
and the cable pull went from one building
to another. Crews picked it up as it came
to their area. We wanted to make manage-
able sections of work,” O’Reilly said.
As a result of the expansion by 32 MW,
the facility now processes up to 3,000 tons
per day of municipal solid waste, generating up to 90 MW of energy for Hawaiian
Electric Co., which calculates to 8 percent
of Oahu’s power needs. American Electric started work in March 2010 with a
crew of 75 electricians and finished in
January 2013, though the expansion was
functional by June 2012.
Because of companies such as American Electric, it seems Hawaii is on its way
to achieving the state’s RPS goal.
CASE Y, author of “Kids Inventing! A Handbook for Young Inventors” and “Women Invent! Two
Centuries of Discoveries that have Changed Our World,” can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Leaves of the invasive Albizia tree