Rooted in Hawaiʻi
The site on which Honua Ola Bioenergy sits has been industrial for over a century, and in power production for nearly a quarter century. During Hawaiʻi’s sugar production days, biomass powered the islands’ sugar plantations and the community by providing power to the local electric utility, Hawaiʻi Electric Light Company (HELCO). After sugar was extracted, bagasse (the leftover leaves and crushed stalk) was used to make steam to turn a turbine and produce electricity. The excess power was sold to the local electric utility.
When sugar processing ended on the former Hilo Coast Processing Company site in 1994, the plant burned coal to produce power for Hawaiʻi Island’s grid until 2004. Hū Honua Bioenergy, LLC, was formed in 2008 to convert the former plant from fossil-fuel based coal into a modern renewable biomass power plant, and since 2018 is doing business as Honua Ola Bioenergy.
Honua Ola is adhering to the appropriate public processes and has approved permits by the State Department of Health and the County of Hawaiʻi, as well as an amended and restated power purchase agreement with the local electric utility approved by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission in July 2017. Further permitting requirements will be applied for and processed in accordance with applicable government regulations.