This press release says ‘Āina Koa Pono will partner with HEC to help the state reach its clean energy goal of meeting 70 percent of its electricity and ground transportation needs from clean, renewable energy sources by 2030 by building a 13,000 acre energy farm able to produce biofuels in the next two years:
“The time has come to take a bold step toward establishing a self-sustaining energy future for our state and we are excited and honored to be selected by Hawaiian Electric Company to produce biofuels for Hawai‘i,” said Dr. Melvin H. Chiogioji [co-founder of Āina Koa Pono]. “This partnership is critical in helping Hawai‘i reduce its reliance on imported fossil fuels and expand our state’s green energy initiative.”
“We are very pleased to award this first contract as a result of our request for proposals for locally grown and processed biofuels to be used in our power plants on Hawaii Island, Oahu and in Maui County,” said Hawaiian Electric Executive Vice President Robbie Alm. “We look forward to a long and productive partnership.”
‘Āina Koa Pono will invest approximately $320 million in the Ka‘ū Energy Farm, to cover the costs of building a cutting-edge processing facility as well as planting and harvesting biofeedstocks including sweet sorghum and eucalyptus. The Ka‘ū Energy Farm will be located on private land under long-term lease agreements with the Olson Trust and the Mallick family.
When completed, the energy farm will produce 16 million gallons of biofuels a year.