Posts Tagged ‘Hawaii Electric Light Company’

October 24

Hu Honua Hires General Manager

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

HILO, HI — October 24, 2012 — Hu Honua Bioenergy has hired Kevin Owen as general manager of its biomass facility in Pepeekeo. Owen, who has already begun working at the site, will be responsible for overseeing the daily operations of the facility once operational.

“I believe in Hu Honua’s mission to provide Hawaii Island with local, renewable energy,” said Owen. “It’s very exciting to be a part of Hu Honua, which will play a key role in securing the island’s energy future. The facility is going to be top notch, with state of the art equipment and emissions controls.”

Hu Honua has negotiated a power purchase agreement with Hawaii Electric Light Company, which is subject to approval by the state Public Utilities Commission. In the meantime, site cleanup and preparation for the renovation of the plant is underway by Hawaiian Dredging & Construction Company.

Owen comes to Hu Honua with more than 21 years of experience in the energy industry, ten of which spent managing a power plant. He has worked for Abitibi Bowater, Hawaiian Commercial & Sugar Company, Georgia Pacific, and Temple Inland.

“I intend to apply my previous experience as a power plant supervisor and manager to ensure that the Hu Honua facility runs smoothly and safely. Our biggest asset is our employees—people will make this operation happen—so I am committed to fostering a safe work environment and going the extra mile to ensure the best operations we can achieve.”

Owen holds a degree in chemical engineering from Tri-State University in Indiana. Owen, his wife, Beth, and their two children, have relocated to Hilo from the mainland.

Hu Honua Bioenergy LLC is converting the former Hilo Coast Power Company plant at Pepeekeo into a modern biomass energy facility. After sugar operations ceased, the facility operated for some years as a coal-fired power plant. Hu Honua will use only biomass. The 24-megawatt (MW) facility will produce a net of 21.5 MW of power, about 10 percent of the island’s electrical needs and about enough for 14,000 homes.

The facility expects to employ about 80 to 100 jobs during the refurbishment phase and about 28 to 30 jobs when the facility begins operation. Another 100 indirect jobs are anticipated in the timber and related industries.


May 21

Hawaii Electric Light Company Signs Contract to Buy Biomass Electricity On Hawaii Island

Monday, May 21st, 2012

HILO, HI — May 21, 2012 — Hawaii Electric Light Company (HELCO) and Hu Honua Bioenergy today announced the signing of a Power Purchase Agreement to provide Hawaii Island with 21.5 megawatts (MW) of renewable, dispatchable firm capacity fueled by locally grown biomass.

Over the 20-year term of the agreement, the Hu Honua facility at Pepeekeo on the Hamakua Coast would supply electricity at pricing not tied to the price of oil.

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 Pepeekeo Sugar Mill into a modern, efficient 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. The previous plant used sugar cane waste and later, coal.

Estimates are that Hu Honua will be able to supply about 10 percent of the island’s electricity needs. The plant is anticipated to be completed approximately 18 months after refurbishment begins.

“Hu Honua’s facility will supply us firm renewable energy at prices that are stable and not tied to the unpredictable world oil market and that is good for our customers,” said Jay Ignacio, president of HELCO. “With the addition of Hu Honua to the HELCO power grid, over 50 percent of our island’s electricity will be provided by renewable resources.”

“Hu Honua will displace about 250,000 barrels of oil per year, keeping that money in the local economy,” said John Sylvia, CEO of Hu Honua.

The project will also support the local economy by creating about 80 to 100 jobs during the refurbishment phase and about 28 to 30 jobs when the facility begins operation; another 100 indirect jobs are anticipated in the timber and related industries.

“We look forward to providing dispatchable renewable energy to the grid, which complements the integration of intermittent sources such as wind and solar,” said Sylvia. “Our biomass-to-electricity process is cleaner than fossil fuel, is efficient and makes use of existing sustainable biomass on the island.”