Categorized | Business, Energy

Hu Honua undertakes site preparation work


Since receiving its air permit in September from the state Department of Health Clean Air Branch (DOH), Hu Honua Bioenergy LLC (HHB) has moved forward with Pepeekeo site preparation.

“We are pleased that the DOH has granted us the air permit,” said John Sylvia, CEO of HHB. “The Hawaii air permit process is quite rigorous and it is important for all stakeholders that it was done correctly. We look forward to contributing to Hawaii’s energy sustainability while providing economic benefits for the community.”

During operation of the 24 MW power plant, the company plans to use locally collected and grown biomass material and non-mulchable wood chips that might otherwise end up in the landfill.

Hu Honua first applied for an air permit two years ago. Following extensive air emissions modeling and engineering analysis conducted by outside experts retained by HHB, which responded to DOH questions and information requests; a year later the DOH issued a draft permit and opened a public comment period.

DOH held a public hearing in September 2010.

Based on the feedback from the public hearing and the public comments, Hu Honua revised and resubmitted its application in December 2010.

After further public comments, DOH and Hu Honua made additional modifications to the draft air permit, which was reviewed by both DOH and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Hu Honua pre-construction activities

Site grounds have been cleared of over-growth. HHB has decommissioned old equipment from the site including the coal handling equipment from the days when the facility burned coal.

Other materials removed include the fuel feeding system, barrels of oil and solvents, and combustion air system. Crews also have begun designing our layout, engineering and the work plan.

The company has contracted licensed professionals for the removal and disposal of hazardous materials. Recycling for metal was used when possible.

HHB has retained Tim Formaz as owner’s engineer and site manager. Formaz recently served at President Turbine Power Inc. and HRSG International as a mechanical engineer.

Formaz, a mechanical engineer, brings more than 30 years of energy experience. Formaz has worked on international and domestic utility projects including a 24 megawatt biomass facility on Kauai.

Pacific Consulting Services of Honolulu was commissioned to conduct an archeology report of the plant site. The report reviews past site conditions and historical uses of the area.

Hawaii’s early economy relied heavily on the sugar industry after the demise of whaling and sandalwood trade. The area was heavily utilized for its ability to grow sugar and create electricity. For well over 100 years, the area was in industrial use, including operating the facility as a coal powered plant.

Hawaii Island residents are paying more than 40 cents per kilowatt hour and the average is generally running in excess of 35 cents.

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