A place for Kauai biofuel?

SOURCE: Pam Lightfoot Burrell (good.designworks@hawaiiantel.net) SUBHEAD: Apollo Kaua’i meeting on Thursday, December 10 at 6:00pm in Mo’ikeha room, County Civic Center. Image above: Abandoned Koloa Sugar mill on Kauai. From http://media.photobucket.com/image/kauai%20sugar/TurkishPSN/SugarRushKawaii.jpg WHAT: Apollo Kaua’i meeting: Is there a place for bio-fuels on Kaua’i ? One proposed project on the West side thinks there is. Come to our meeting, listen and ask questions. WHERE: Mo’ikeha room. , County Civic Center WHEN: Thursday, December 10 AT 6 PM WHO: everyone is invited Pacific West Energy - speaker : President, CEO & Director - William Maloney He has been in the sugar and ethanol business nearly three decades. From the Pac West Website site: Pacific West Energy LLC is currently developing the first sugarcane-based, integrated green-energy plantation in the world. The sugar cane and ethanol components of the project are modeled on similar successful operations in Brazil and Central and South America. The additional components of the energy plantation will make it a one-of-a-kind leader in the area of renewable energy. The Company will convert a sugar factory on the island of Kaua'i into an energy facility by constructing a new power plant (approximately 20-megawatts), a 12-million gallon per year ethanol plant, and additional electrical generation facilities based on a variety of sources and technologies, including solar, hydroelectric, biodiesel, wind, algae-to-fuel, and municipal solid waste. Hawaiian electricity and ethanol prices are consistently among the highest in the United States. Burning sugar cane and woody plants to generate electricity is "not quite carbon neutral, but pretty close," the state's Peck said. "It's certainly better than a fossil fuel plant" — which is what KIUC had planned for its next power plant. And from William Maloney, President of Pac West; just a few things to consider about the biofuel project: 1) Our project will produce a food crop, and will not displace lands that would otherwise be placed in food crops. There are tens of thousands of acres of underutilized agricultural lands on Kauai, and of the 2,000 acres of State land on east Kauai designated specifically for food crops only a few hundred acres have been put into production. 2) In order to enable wind and solar to be economically integrated into the power grid of Hawaii a source of firm and stable source of power generation must be in place to back them up - as they are not stable themsleves. This can be done through the burning of petroleum products, as it would be absent our project, or through a biomass power plant - which has a much better carbon footprint (and employs a lot more people). Our company previously voluntarily agreed to forego a permitted coal fired boiler for our project because we shared concerns with Apollo about its emissions and carbon footprint. 3) Our project intends to integrate solar, and possibly wind (there have been concerns expressed about wind turbines impacts on birds, so this is on hold for now), and it is expressly because we can firm solar power that a large scale solar facility may be developed. We are in discussions with several solar developers in this regard. 4) Our project is working closely with new generation technology providers (e.g., Clear Fuels) to develop a commercial scale processing facility for biomass that would employ thermal chemical technology to convert biomass to syngas (which includes the CO2 component) and which can them be converted to liquid fuels for road transportation and to produce electricity. This would further improve the carbon footprint. 5) We are intending to also capture our CO2 emissions and to use this CO2 to produce algae - which would then be used to produce renewable energy. It is also our intention to capture much of our exhaust heat and to use this for feedstock drying (to reduce moisture and thereby improve efficiencies) and for pre-heating. 6) Our project will plant sugar cane on historical west-side sugar cane lands, and not be increasing current water flows - and likely shift large tracts of former cane lands to other crops with much lower water demand than sugar cane. Lands cultivated in other areas will be rain-fed, with no diversions of water. 7) Our method for harvesting sugar cane will differ significantly than the historical Hawaiian practice, and will not result in the type of soil erosion and resulting sedimentation and turbidity that you may be familiar with. I truly believe our project model is an outstanding opportunity for Kauai - it is incorporating the newest technologies and facilitates the development of solar and wind into the island's grid. On balance, I believe any reasonable objective observer would conclude that Kauai will be much better off with this project than without it. See also: Ea O Ka Aina: PacWest - KIUC - G & R Deal 10/16/09 EA O Ka Aina: KIUC's $75 million GenX Plant 8/1/09 .

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