The Hawaii State Public Utilities Commission will hold two hearings on Hawaii Island, the week after next. The intent is to get resident input on two topics: the pending 4.2% rate increase requested by Hawaiian Electric Light Company and the application by the biofuel plant, Aina Koa Pono, which wishes to begin operations in Ka’u.
The Aina Koa Pono plant would be built where the old Ka’u Sugar Plantation Mill was. It has caused a great deal of discussion on Hawaii Island. Even Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi says the County has taken a position against the plant. One of the main reasons is that the proposal is to use crops as the biofuel to create energy, and the Mayor says the first energy-creating plant should be some kind of Waste to Energy Plant—such as the H Power plant now on Oahu—to burn the County’s garbage and turn it into electricity. He also says the amount of crop land required to provide the biofuel would be significant, and that may not be the best use of that land. Advocates of a more sustainable Hawaii point to the possibility to use the crop lands to grow food crops.
The first hearing is on Monday, October 29 at Hilo High Cafeteria at 6 p.m. The final hearing is on Tuesday, October 30 at Kealakehe High School at 6