Hawaii has welcomed its first smartflower in Pahoa at the micro-shelter village for the families displaced by the Kilauea volcano. The unit was donated by T&T Electric, a local solar company in Pahoa.
“The lava destroyed so many homes and displaced so many people,” said John McEnroe of SmartFlower Pacific. “We all felt inspired to help the displaced families (in addition to our own kind donations of construction labor and materials) by donating a smartflower solar system. The unit would benefit the Sacred Heart Shelter and Hope Services Hawaii organization (the lead management entity) by offsetting their energy consumption, and provide hope and a morale boost to the displaced families, some of whom have lost their homes, belongings, land, dignity, and pride.”
The smartflower provides clean energy for twenty 10′ x 12′ sleeping quarters that each include one interior light, one smoke detector, one interior convenience outlet and one exterior light. It also provides power for lighting in the common kitchen and cooking area, shower facilities, and the bathrooms.
Under the leadership of HOPE Services Hawaii, this project is a community-led effort of multiple partners of contractors, electricians, plumbers, engineers and many more. Various organizations, such as the Hawaii Army National Guard, Hope Services, Pacific Rim Construction LLC, and many other civilian organizations, were involved.
Mayor Harry Kim said that “Yes, the eruption has destroyed a lot of things, but this eruption also brought Puna together.”
The governor of Hawaii, David Ige, was also present at the blessing of the village and commented that “It really is the people, the places and culture that make Hawaii special,” he said. “It is remarkable to see what happens when the answer is yes.”
Additionally, U.S. Representative Tulsi Gabbard said the village is a representation of “what aloha really means.”
McEnroe describes that “Everyone was blown away by the SmartFlower because no one had seen anything like it before. It’s a very rural area, so people were amazed to see something so aesthetically pleasing as well as functional.”
“Every person here in Hawaii is just like a link. Like a chain. You know they come together to become strong,” said Gilbert Aguinaldo of Pacific Rim Construction LLC.
Thank you to John McEnroe of SmartFlower Pacific for taking the time to speak with us about the SmartFlower installation at the Pahoa micro-shelter village.
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