HILO, HI— September 1, 2011— Hu Honua Bioenergy, LLC (“HHB”) has been granted an air permit by the Hawai‘i State Department of Health- Clean Air Branch (“DOH”). HHB can now move ahead with its engineering design, construction and refurbishing of the former Hilo Coast Power Company power plant at Pepe‘ekeo on Hawai‘i Island into a modern biomass facility.
The HHB energy facility will utilize locally collected and grown biomass material and non-mulchable wood chips that might otherwise end up in the landfill.
“We are pleased that the DOH has granted us the air permit,” says John Sylvia, CEO of Hu Honua. “The Hawai‘i air permit process is quite rigorous, and it is important for all stakeholders that it was done correctly. We look forward to contributing to Hawai‘i’s energy sustainability while providing economic benefits for the community”.
Besides the construction jobs (estimated at nearly 80 for a year), HHB anticipates there will be 40 full-time plant jobs and about 130 indirect jobs in the timber industry and other support services for the operation.
The proposed 24-megawatt renewable energy facility will produce up to 10 percent of Hawai‘i Island’s electricity needs, enough to power 14,000 homes and offset a substantial amount of imported oil per year.