|Biofuel is being tested at HECO's Kahe power plant near Kapolei on O`ahu|
in preparation for use of biofuel that could be manufactured in Pahala
from feedstock from Ka`u.
TESTING OF BIOFUELS, which Hawaiian Electric Company plans to buy from factories that would be built in Pahala and on Kaua`i, has begun. HECO is testing biofuel in a petroleum oil-fired steam turbine generator at its Kahe power plant near Kapolei on O ‘ahu.
“We believe this is the first time a utility-scale steam unit has fired on 100 percent biofuel at 100 percent capacity,” said Hawaiian Electric Executive Vice President Robbie Alm. “This successful test confirms that biofuels — locally grown to the greatest extent possible — can be an important part of Hawai`i’s clean energy future, along with energy from the sun, wind, ocean, waste-to-energy, hydro and geothermal,” he said.
The fuel came from Sime Darby, a Malaysian multi-national corporation for which approval was given by the Public Utilities Commission to ship 1.6 million gallons of biofuel to Hawai`i for the test. The state Department of Health also approved the test. “The test uses sustainably produced crude palm oil blended with palm stearin, an inedible by-product of palm oil refining usually used to make candles and soap,” says a statement from HECO.
According to the electric company, emissions from the power plant using biofuel were less than emissions from corresponding operations with fossil fuel. The tests found that using biofuel reduced opacity – visibility of emissions – and emissions of nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide compared to using low sulfur fuel oil.
HECO continues to look for biofuels that are locally manufactured from local biomass, such as the `Aina Koa Pono project planned for Pahala and the lands between Pahala and Na`alehu.
`Aina Koa Pono will make a presentation on Monday, Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. at Pahala Community Center at the Ka`u Chamber of Commerce meeting. The public is invited to attend.
|Richard Ha, state Board of Agriculture member|
and proponent of geothermal over biofuels.
KUOKOA INC., a newly formed hui including Big Island farmer Richard Ha, would use geothermal, instead of biofuels, to meet the state’s electrical needs. Ha and his partners intend to call on Hawai`i residents and other investors to purchase the stock of Hawaiian Electric Industries and phase out oil burning power plants. They told Pacific Business News last week that they would keep the day-to-day staff and operations in place should they succeed in a company takeover.
THE COUNTY COUNCIL takes up redistricting – which will change the boundaries of voting precincts on the island – taking into consideration new population data from the 2010 census that will be release in the next few months. A redistricting commission, to be confirmed by the council by March 31 after being nominated by Mayor Billy Kenoi, is scheduled to submit its plan to the county clerk by the end of the year. A proposal by Kona council member Brenda Ford would require the commission to be trained and establish more rules for the redistricting.
THE HAWAI`I METH PROJECT has formed a Teen Advisory Council to promote and facilitate peer outreach. The council encourages teen volunteerism and identifying peer outreach opportunities at schools and in the community to raise awareness about the dangers and risks of methamphetamine use. Teens interested in applying for the 2011-2012 Teen Advisory Council should contact Hawai`i Meth Project Program Manager, Jennifer Phakoom at (808) 529-6254 or email@example.com.
|This recent photo shows activity in the lava lake at Halema`uma`u.|
Photo courtesy of Hawaiian Volcano Observatory
TODAY IS THE LAST DAY of Volcano Awareness Month. A hike at 10 a.m. begins at Mauna Ulu parking lot on Chain of Craters Road in Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park.
THE OCEAN VIEW TEEN CLUB meets tomorrow and every Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Kahuku Park and Ocean View Community Center. It is for ages 13 to 18. Call 937-3335 for more information.