Friday, August 2, 2013

Kauai Biofuels Grant


Local Bio Energy Company Receives Funding to Develop
Photosynthetic Open Pond System in Lihue

Hawaii BioEnergy was awarded a $5 million grant to develop a cost-effective photosynthetic open pond system to produce algal oil at its research facility near Lihue, Kauai. The funding is part of $22 million in new investments by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to develop cost-competitive algae fuels and streamline the supply chain for advanced biofuels across the country. Funding for the project will enable continued research into advance biofuels technologies that reduce energy use and the overall cost of extracting lipids and producing fuel intermediates.

Kauai Representative Dee Morikawa (Niihau, Lehua, Waimea, Koloa) praised the DOE’s announcement, “Hawaii has long been at the forefront of developing alternative energies and I am pleased that the U.S. Department of Energy has recognized our efforts in pursing energy security. As an island state we are extremely dependent and vulnerable to the availability of imported oil.  We must continue to foster growth in renewable energy technologies to strengthen our local economy and, most importantly, to continue a positive transition towards clean and efficient energy. This project adds to a number of other alternative energy initiatives on Kauai including solar farms and biomass production” she said.

The award is a significant step towards meeting the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative, which seeks to relieve our state’s dependence on oil by setting goals and a roadmap to achieve 70% clean energy by 2030, with 30% from efficiency measures and 40% from locally generated renewable sources.

In 2008, the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative generated more than 90% of its energy from imported oil. The utility currently has plans to produce 35% of its energy through renewable sources by the end of 2014.


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