About Hū Honua

Located in Pepe‘ekeo, the Hū Honua Bioenergy facility is designed to convert locally produced biomass into electricity in a 30-megawatt (MW) power station. For more than 100 years, the property has been an industrial hub on the Hāmākua Coast.

Upon completion of reconstruction, the facility, formerly a sugar mill power plant, will provide Hawai‘i Island a renewable and sustainable source of energy that will help protect Hawai‘i’s fragile environment and provide jobs to local families.

Hū Honua is committed to providing green energy in order to reduce Hawai‘i’s dependence on imported fossil fuels, while strictly complying with all regulatory requirements. It could reduce fossil fuel costs to electric users on the island by as much as a billion dollars over 30 years.

Our Pledge

Hū Honua is committed to continue being a good neighbor and a good corporate citizen. From our outset, we have worked to keep the local community informed through one-on-one meetings, eNewsletters, direct mails, and updates through our website. We admit that during some challenges to our project, we were doing less outreach as we worked through those problems but are committed to reinvigorating our relationship with the Hawai‘i Island community.

In the past, Hū Honua provided area clubs, organizations, and local sports teams with sponsorships and has volunteered time and manpower to various causes.  We look forward to renewing our community service commitment.

The Hū Honua Bioenergy project will keep $20 million in taxes circulating within the local economy, revive the area by creating local jobs, and has the capacity to build the State’s energy portfolio of non-oil linked electricity production facilities and move us toward a sustainable energy future.

Community Sentiment

A recent survey of East Hawai‘i Island residents found that 75 percent feel “Very or Somewhat Favorable” about the Hū Honua Bioenergy project.

57 percent of survey participants living in Pepe‘ekeo and immediate neighborhoods reported feeling “Very or Somewhat Favorable.”

When asked about specific benefits of the Hū Honua project:

  • 81 percent say it is a “Very Important Benefit” that the plant will keep money in the local economy that would otherwise go to pay for foreign oil or natural gas
  • 78 percent say it is a “Very Important Benefit” that the project will create hundreds of both construction and long-term jobs for East Hawai‘i Island residents
  • 76 percent say it is a “Very Important Benefit” that producing electricity with biomass will stabilize electric bills and lower costs over time
  • 71 percent say it is a “Very Important Benefit” that Hū Honua will maximize economic impact by revitalizing the local forest industry

There is overwhelming support for the project from East Hawai‘i residents, with only 10 percent feeling “Very or Somewhat Unfavorable,” and 13 percent feeling “Neutral.” In Pepe‘ekeo, majority of residents sampled support Hū Honua with 15 percent feeling “Very or Somewhat Unfavorable,” and 26 percent feeling “Neutral.”

390 local residents completed the survey from June 20-28, 2017, using both landline and cell phones. The formal independent survey was developed and conducted by Anthology Research (formerly QMark Research). The study has an overall margin of error of 5.06%. The sample area focused on the Hāmākua Coast and Hilo and extended north to Hawi, west to Waimea, and south to Aianaloa. The area comprising the neighborhoods within an approximate three-mile radius of Pepe‘ekeo was oversampled to ensure the sentiment in the immediate neighborhood of the project was fully represented.

To view the report and entire survey, click here.

What’s in a Name?

“Hū Honua” in Hawaiian means to “come from the land” and represents our mission, which is to:

  • Create sustainable green energy while supporting local agriculture
  • Work to reduce Hawai‘i’s dependence on expensive, imported fossil fuels
  • Stimulate the local economy through the use of local labor to operate the facility

Site Location

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Hu Honua Bioenergy facility site map. Image Source: Google Earth Pro

Industrial-use History of Area

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