Biomass power plant being built in Hawaii

Hawaii Electric Light Co. (HELCO) and Hu Honua Bioenergy have signed a power purchase agreement to provide Hawaii Island with 21.5 MW of capacity fueled by biomass.

The 20-year term of the agreement requires approval by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC), with input from the state Division of Consumer Advocacy.

Hu Honua Bioenergy is converting the former Pepe‘ekeo Sugar Mill into an electric generation facility using renewable biofuel, including locally grown biomass, such as eucalyptus. The facility will consist of a biomass fuel yard, steam boiler, turbine and generator.

According to HELCO, estimates are that Hu Honua will be able to supply about 10 percent of the island’s electricity needs.

“With the addition of Hū Honua to the HELCO power grid, over 50 percent of our island’s electricity will be provided by renewable resources,” said Jay Ignacio, president of HELCO.

The plant is anticipated to be completed approximately 18 months after refurbishment begins.

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