Friday, April 19, 2013

USA, Hawai'i:

Native Hawaiians Vote to Invest in Geothermal Power (Hawai'i Tribune-Herald)

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs is going all in on geothermal. OHA’s Board of Trustees voted Thursday to invest $1.25 million into the Huena Power Consortium, with an upfront contribution of $600,000.

The Innovations Development Group (IDG), a geothermal company based in Honolulu, formed HPC to seek a contract with Hawaii Electric Light Co. on providing up to 50 MWe of geothermal electricity. Eastland, a New Zealand company, has also joined the consortium, according to IDG.

OHA already receives 20 percent of the state’s geothermal royalties.

Having OHA, which represents the interests of Native Hawaiians, on board is critical for IDG to fulfill its goal of using geothermal development to benefit indigenous populations, Madina Talbert said. “(Geothermal is) going to get done, it’s going to happen,” she said.

Companies have until April 30 to submit a proposal for the HELCO contract. A decision may take 120 days.

IDG is considering building a plant on Kealoha Estate land in Pohoiki if it wins the contract.