The Maui News - Hawai'i Island's electric utility is asking the state Public Utilities Commission to approve a new contract to buy 16 million gallons of biofuels each year to supply its Keahole Power Plant.
Hawai'i Electric Light Co. said July 9 that the proposed contract with Aina Koa Pono will save its customers $125 million over 20 years compared to an earlier plan the utilities commission rejected.
Aina Koa Pono will initially harvest existing invasive plants, eucalyptus and local green waste such as macadamia nut husks. It's working with the Hawai'i Agriculture Research Center to find appropriate plants to farm afterward.
It plans to farm over 12,000 former Kau Sugar Company acres.
State law requires Hawai'i's electric utilities to get 40 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2030.