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Hu Honua Biomass Power Plant rejected by Hawaii utility regulators 

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The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has rejected plans for Hu Honua Biomass Power Plant.

In its 164-page decision with one dissent, the three-member panel listed a variety of reasons why Honua Ola Bioenergy, formerly known as Hu Honua, should not be granted an amended power purchase agreement with Hawaiian Electric Light Company. 

The top reasons were given as the fact that the project will result in significant greenhouse gas emissions, which contribute to climate change; and Hu Honua’s carbon sequestration plan is speculative and based on “unsupported assertions.”

Hu Honua President Warren Lee said he’s “extremely disappointed” by the decision and is considering his next steps.

“We are carefully reviewing the PUC’s decision and determining our legal options for moving forward, including a motion for reconsideration with the PUC and, if necessary, the filing of an appeal with the Hawai‘i Supreme Court,” Lee said.

The commission said it has concerns about the potentially significant long-term environmental and public health impacts of the project if the power agreement with HELCO is approved.

In addition, the commission found that the power purchase agreement is likely to result in high costs to ratepayers, both through its relatively expensive electricity and the potential displacement of other lower cost, renewable resources.