Good news from the renewable energy world here in the islands. This is an interesting project to keep an eye on…
A biomass plant that’s expected to account for about 11 percent of Kauai’s electricity needs has received a $73 million loan from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, according to a press release from the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative.
The loan will allow Green Energy to begin construction in early 2013 on the plant that will run on woodchips.
The $90 million plant is expected to create about 200 construction jobs and 39 permanent jobs on Kauai.
Green Energy co-founder, Eric Knutzen:
“The idea behind the project was that it would help accomplish three objectives: to lower Kaua`i energy costs, to keep more money in the local economy and create jobs, and to contribute to sustainability efforts,” Knutzen said.
“Operationally, our agricultural management plan includes removing Albizia trees from state lands, and replacing them with DLNR Forestry-approved plantation trees, for sustainable forest growth, a renewable, long-term biomass supply.”
KIUC CEO David Bissell said that by the end of 2014, the electric utility expected to be generating more than 35 percent of its electricity from renewable energy sources.