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Wave-energy project advances

A buoy off the Windward Oahu coast that generates electricity using sea motion has been connected to the island’s electrical grid, according to the company overseeing the project.

New Jersey-based Ocean Power Technologies Inc. said it was the first-ever grid connection of a wave energy device in the United States.

The buoy was deployed in December in about 100 feet of water about three-quarters of a mile off of Marine Corps Base Hawaii in conjunction with the Navy.

Hawaiian Electric Co., which maintains the electrical grid on Oahu, welcomed the news.

"Hawaiian Electric has been working with the Office of Naval Research and Ocean Power Technologies for several years on tests of their wave energy device off Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe. We are very happy to see their continued progress," HECO spokesman Peter Rosegg said.


Pacific Air Cargo to use solar power

Pacific Air Cargo has selected Distributed Energy Partners to install a 110-kilowatt solar electrical generation system on the roof of its airport facility.

The system will consist of 462 photovoltaic panels installed on the roof of Pacific Air Cargo’s 47,000-square-foot facility on Keehi Place off of Lagoon Drive. The system, which will generate an estimated 15,059 kilowatt-hours of energy per month, is expected be completed in November, according to the two companies.

Pacific Air Cargo estimates the system will cut its electricity bill by 50 percent and pay for itself in about five years after state and federal tax credits.

On the Net:

» Ocean Power Technologies
» Pacific Air Cargo
» Distributed Energy Partners
» BroadbandUSA
» BlackBerry | Playbook

Hawaii gets $2.4M for broadband

Hawaii received $2.4 million in federal stimulus funds in the final round of funding aimed at bolstering the country’s broadband infrastructure.

The award was part of $190 million doled out by the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration. They were the final awards in the State Broadband Data and Development grant program, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, NTIA said.

The 50 states, five territories and the District of Columbia will use this funding to "support the efficient and creative use of broadband technology to improve their economies," according to an NTIA news release.


Walmart wants to expand to S. Africa

NEW YORK » Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is offering to buy South African retailer Massmart Holdings Ltd. for about $4.25 billion in a bid to jump-start growth beyond its sluggish U.S. business.

A deal would give the world’s largest retailer an opening to expand in South Africa, a fast-growing economy but one that’s also troubled by high crime and a 24 percent unemployment rate. It also has a heavily unionized work force.

Walmart has focused on expanding overseas, particularly in emerging markets, but South Africa had not been an area that officials had discussed as a potential opportunity.


BlackBerry gets company

NEW YORK » The company that gave us the BlackBerry thinks its business customers will have room in their briefcases for at least one more device: the PlayBook. Research in Motion Ltd. showed off the tablet for the first time yesterday and is set to launch it in early 2011. The PlayBook will have a 7-inch screen, making it half the size of Apple Inc.’s iPad, and weigh about 0.9 pounds to the iPad’s 1.5 pounds. RIM said its cost would be in the same range as the iPad, which starts at $499.



Hawaii Pacific Federal Credit Union has hired Mark Hirae as loan manager. He will be responsible for managing and overseeing Hawaii Pacific Federal’s loan programs. Hirae was previously working in various positions at the HawaiiUSA Federal Credit Union for 20 years.



Daniel F. Romano has joined the East-West Center as a diplomat-in-residence and visiting research fellow for a year. He is a management officer at the U.S. State Department and was previously a supervisory general services officer at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul.



Make-a-Wish, Hawaii, has announced the following new directors for 2010-2011: Noelle B. Catalan and Deborah Ng-Furuhashi. Continuing officers are Ryan K. Sakaguchi, president; Brandt G. Farias, vice president; Lori L. Lee, secretary; and Tracey A. Keahi, treasurer. Directors: Carolyn Tom Davis, Alan R. Mattson, Joseph S. Pina and Lee Tokuhara. Henry Kapono continues as Make-a-Wish Hawaii ambassador.



Twelve lawyers from Alston Hunt Floyd & Ing were named in the Best Lawyers in America 2011: Paul Alston, William S. Hunt, Shelby Anne Floyd, Louise K.Y. Ing, Ellen Godbey Carson, Anna Elento-Sneed, Neil Hulbert, William M. Kaneko, Richard J. Kowen, Corianne Lau, William M. Tam and Terry E. Thomason.


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