Maui News

LAHAINA LIGHTHOUSE CONVERTED TO SOLAR

February 9, 2009, 8:32 AM HST
* Updated February 9, 2:48 PM
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(Posted by Wendy OSHER © 2009)

The historic lighthouse in Lahaina was converted to a “green” house after crews from the U.S. Coast Guard switched out its power to solar energy earlier this month.

The 93-year-old structure is the third lighthouse in Hawaii to be converted to solar power. It stands on the site of the original structure, which King Kamehameha III had ordered to be built in 1840.

The 9-foot wooden tower lit with an oil lamp was the first lighthouse to be built in the state, and was used as an aid to navigation for the whaling ships that anchored off of Lahaina. The tower was increased to 26 feet in 1905 and rebuilt with the present tower in 1916.

The conversion was completed by Senior Chief Petty Officer David Garrett and his crew from the U.S. Coast Guard Aids to Navigation Team (ANT), Honolulu, on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009.

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Garrett said, “With the new developments in light emitting diode (LED) technology, these solar projects have been possible.”

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“These changes are being evaluated for every aid throughout the island chain that relies on shore power,” he said.

While energy saving is one part of the equation, Garrett said the continuity of operations is the main goal.

“If power goes out these lights will not,” said Garrett.

U.S. Coast Guard, PHOTO ILLUSTRATION/PETTY OFFICER 3RD CLASS MICHAEL DE NYSE

Photo courtesy: U.S. Coast Guard, PHOTO ILLUSTRATION/PETTY OFFICER 3RD CLASS MICHAEL DE NYSE

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