Hawaiian Electric, Pacific Biodiesel sign contract

By Hawaiian Electric Co. | November 15, 2017

Hawaiian Electric Co. and Pacific Biodiesel Technologies have reached a new agreement for the Maui-based biofuel company to supply biodiesel processed from recycled waste cooking oil and other local feedstocks for the 50-MW Schofield Generating Station, 8-MW Honolulu International Airport Emergency Power Facility, and other Oahu generation facilities as needed.

The three-year renewable contract for 2 million to 4 million gallons per year will go into effect in 2018, subject to approval by the state Public Utilities Commission. Biodiesel processed at Pacific Biodiesel's refinery on Hawaii Island will be barged to Oahu in secure, stainless-steel containers and trucked to sites where it will be used.

"This new contract accomplishes our goal of using locally produced biofuel to the greatest extent possible," said Ron Cox, Hawaiian Electric senior vice president for operations. "In addition, fuel for our power plants under this new contract will be lower priced than we now pay for biodiesel."

Pacific Biodiesel currently supplies its 100-percent renewable biodiesel for Hawaiian Electric's Campbell Industrial Park generation station and the airport emergency facility owned by the state and operated by the utility. The Schofield plant will use a mixture of biodiesel and petroleum diesel. Biofuel for generation provides electricity that is both renewable and firm, that is, available for dispatch as needed.

"The new technology at our Big Island refinery enables us to process the highest quality biodiesel available in the United States," said Robert King, Pacific Biodiesel president. "With this new contract, Hawaiian Electric is ensuring the continuous operation of the Keaau facility, and job security for 80 Pacific Biodiesel employees statewide. More than any other renewable-energy model, locally produced biodiesel provides green jobs, energy security, consistent greenhouse gas reduction and direct displacement of fossil fuels."

Established in 1995, Pacific Biodiesel is the nation's oldest and most experienced biodiesel producer, the only commercial producer of liquid biofuels in Hawaii and a globally recognized pioneer in the industry. Nearly two decades of experience in constructing and operating biodiesel processing plants, advancing process technology, and producing and marketing quality fuels have provided industry-leading accomplishments recognized at community, state and national levels. Currently farming sunflowers and other biofuel crops on Maui, Pacific Biodiesel is demonstrating a sustainable, community-based, "farm-to-fuel" model that is helping Hawaii fight climate change and achieve a clean energy future.