Weather conditions were perfect for the college to honor the occasion as winds softly moved through kukui, avocado, mountain apple and flowering trees under a gentle cloud-filled sky. Faculty, staff, and students from the Sustainability Club teamed up to clear thick brush and water ditches, built by Grove Farm during the island’s plantation days, to make way for the installation of a Hydro Electrical Turbine Station, an electricity generation site.
The idea for the project, part of the college’s alternate and renewable energy initiatives, was ignited by work done by Keichiro Yamamoto, professor from the National Institute of Technology Toyama College, during his sabbatical at Kaua‘i CC. Electricity generated by water will be stored in a battery that can be taken and used anywhere. Initial plans are to feed power to the college’s Hawaiian Studies Program Lo‘i to fulfill its energy needs.
Carvalho is proud of the students and eager to support their aspirations. “Kaua‘i is our home and we are committed to protecting and nourishing it for now and the future,” said Carvalho. “I am inspired by the plans our students are making to build a healthy Kaua‘i, and the way we are re-purposing water ditches dug, by hand, during the island’s time of the big plantations,” he said, “using our rich history as we build a better future for the island.”
Cool water flowed smoothly through the clean ditches and the land was cleared. A potluck lunch was prepared and enjoyed by all after a good day’s work.