Project Overview

Purpose & Need

The Hū Honua Bioenergy facility will use 100 percent biomass to produce 30-megawatts (MW) of renewable energy in a refurbished, reconstructed plant that once burned bagasse and then coal. This renewable, clean source of energy will provide grid stability, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

As part of the modernization, a new steam turbine has been commissioned, along with highly efficient emission control systems.  The plant can help improve air quality in East Hawai‘i, and reduce the island’s carbon footprint.

Hū Honua will help Hawaiian Electric Industries (HEI) and the State of Hawai‘i reach their goal to produce all electrical power needs from renewables by 2045. Once the facility begins operation, it has the ability to power more than 20,000 households with renewable energy.

Hawai‘i is the most oil-dependent state in the country. Most of the state’s electricity is generated by petroleum, and ninety-nine percent of the crude oil consumed in Hawai‘i comes from foreign sources.

Hū Honua’s generation potential is enough to provide about 15 percent of HELCO’s capacity after old oil-fired plants are retired. Hū Honua will displace the output of oil-fired HELCO units, eliminating about 250,000 barrels of imported oil per year.

The price of electricity delivered to HELCO will not be tied to oil, which means an equitable, stable price for consumers.

How Biomass-to-Energy Works

Have you ever wondered about the process Hū Honua plans to use to convert woody biomass into sustainable, renewable power? Check out the infographic below to learn more about the biomass-to-energy process, from seed to electricity. Once online, Hū Honua can supply the Hawai‘i Electric Light power grid with 15 percent of its energy needs – enough to power up to 20,000 Big Island homes. The project will also increase agricultural activity on Hawai‘i Island, driving job creation and stimulating forestry.

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