Hawaiian PUC Rejects Biodiesel Bid

John Davis

AKP_logo1Hawaii’s Public Utility Commission (PUC) has turned down a bid for a local biodiesel maker to produce the green fuel for a power plant. This story on BigIslandNow.com says the PUC rejected the bid of Honolulu-based Aina Koa Pono LLC, the second attempt by the biodiesel producer to sell its fuel to Hawaii Electric Light Co. (HELCO).

Aina Koa Pono wanted the PUC’s approval to sell 16 million gallons of biofuel annually to HELCO’s Keahole power plant on a 20-year contract. The fuel would be produced at a $450 million plant to be built in Ka`u.

The PUC however said in a ruling this week that the proposed deal’s cost was “excessive … not cost effective (and) not in the public interest,” similar to its response to an earlier proposal.

Aina Koa Pono founder Kenton Eldridge told PBN that the company is negotiating with a Georgia firm for purchase of 24 million gallons of bio-diesel and that plans for the Kau production plant would go forward despite the PUC’s ruling.

The Ka`u facility is expected to create 400 jobs during construction and 200 permanent jobs when completed.