HECO: We're Serious About Biofuels

Michael Levine/Civil Beat

Hawaiian Electric Company has struck a deal to buy more than 300 million gallons of liquid biofuel from a local company over the next two decades.

The 20-year contract with Aina Koa Pono — which translates to "for the good of the land" — was signed Thursday and announced in a joint press conference at HECO's Richards Street headquarters. Aina Koa Pono said it expects to make a $320 million investment to get the Big Island operation up and running.

"The time has come to take a bold step toward establishing a self-sustaining energy future for our state," Aina Koa Pono co-founder Melvin Chiogioji said in a prepared statement. "This partnership is critical in helping Hawaii reduce its reliance on imported fossil fuels and expand our state's green energy initiative."

HECO Executive Vice President Robbie Alm said at the press conference that the collaboration will help Hawaii's largest energy company stabilize rates, push the state closer to its goal of 40 percent renewable energy by 2030 and keep more money in the local economy. And he said the purchase, which will provide 4 percent of the utility's fuel, is just the beginning.

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