Aloha, friends!

We’re excited to bring you the latest edition of the Hū Honua Bioenergy newsletter. It has been a while since you’ve heard from us, and we have a lot of good news to share. We’ve been active in the community and are making progress toward our goal of having the plant operational by the end of 2018. As our work continues, we’ll engage you and keep you in the loop.

Powering the island and local economy
Hū Honua is committed to building a renewable biomass power plant on Hawai’i Island that will ensure less expensive, more stable energy rates and create hundreds of new local jobs.

To date, we’ve invested more than $100 million in the construction of the new plant, and we have made great progress.  Being located on the old sugar mill site allows us to connect the area’s rich history to the future. We have staff onsite working everyday and look forward to further ramping up our efforts.

“We are excited to get this project back on track, and as always, we are prioritizing the needs of the local community,” said Harold Robinson, president of Island BioEnergy, the owner of Hū Honua. “Not only will Hū Honua bring firm, renewable, clean energy to Hawaiʻi Island residents, but we are committed to being a good partner for the long-term.” 

Engaging stakeholders
One of our top priorities is to be a good neighbor. Throughout 2017, our team has been meeting with community stakeholders, getting input about residents’ priorities and discussing the future of the project. We have spoken with civic leaders, labor unions, businesses, and our neighbors.

Hū Honua will bring jobs to East Hawai‘i in many ways. Once the plant is operational, we will have a full staff on site; the plant will create constant demand of the island’s forestry industry. In order to complete building the plant, we will engage skilled laborers from the local community, including carpenters.

As such, in March, Dean Au linked us up with members of the local Carpenter’s Union. We look forward to working with them in the very near future as the plant is erected. We’re excited about the potential for partnership with the union for the creation of new jobs and training. 

carpenters

Supporting community
There are so many good causes in Hilo and across the island. Hū Honua has recently been lucky enough to lend our support to a few of our favorite community efforts. This past March, Hū Honua joined the Hilo High School Foundation to honor distinguished alumni who have made a positive impact in the community. Congratulations to all the alumni, and to show our support for the wonderful work of the foundation, Hū Honua made a financial contribution. We look forward to being part of this event for years to come.

hilohighalumni

Also in March, we were honored to attend the Boys & Girls Club’s fundraising gala recognizing outstanding youth on the island. We heard incredible stories about young people in the community who are overcoming significant challenges to stay focused on their education and on the path to a bright future. Being part of this event reminds us how crucial our work on clean energy will be for all members of our community, but especially for our youth.

Our island’s energy future
We recognize that Hū Honua’s role is only a part of the intricate system that will help achieve the state’s goal of 100% renewable energy by 2045.  But as we relinquish our dependence on fossil fuels, it is quickly apparent how important it will be to have a clean source of energy that can supply the grid 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That’s what makes Hū Honua so special—firm, reliable energy production.

A recent Hawaii Tribune-Herald dove into the Hawaii Electric power supply improvement plan (PSIP). The PSIP charts the state’s energy future. Naturally, Hū Honua’s Rob Robinson provided input for this story, helping to define the importance of biomass as part of Hawaii’s energy mix. In case you missed it, click here to read full article.

We’ll be in touch soon with more updates on the project and what we’re doing in the community. Until then, feel free to reach out to us!