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Bill supporting West Maui biofuel facility advances

By Staff | Apr 24, 2014


WEST MAUI – Maui legislators are pushing hard for Senate Bill 3008 SD1 HD1 – a measure that directly addresses the landfill waste issue on Maui in an environmentally sustainable way, said Tenth District Rep. Angus McKelvey of Lahaina.

The bill seeks a special purpose revenue bond to facilitate the development of a waste conversion facility at the Central Maui Landfill and the Maui Energy Park project near the Lahaina Wastewater Reclamation Facility on land owned by Kaanapali Land Management Company.

The measure would assist Anaergia, a worldwide expert in resource recovery, which seeks to revitalize about 2,000 acres of fallow farm lands in West Maui.

Anaergia would design, build, own and operate a renewable fuel facility at the Central Maui Landfill to convert Maui waste streams – including municipal solid waste, food waste, sewage sludge, and grease – into renewable liquefied natural gas and refuse-derived fuel.

These two renewable fuels can be used for local energy generation in Hawaii as a replacement for imported fossil fuels. In addition to creating a cost-effective renewable fuel from local waste streams without the combustion of solid wastes, Anaergia’s solution will divert roughly 85 percent of Maui’s waste from the landfill, reduce more than 100,000 tons of greenhouse gases each year and create permanent jobs.

McKelvey, a chief proponent of the bill, said, “In striving to improve the quality of life for the people of Hawaii, I whole-heartedly embrace synergistic relationships with companies working toward solutions that increase renewable energy and reduces/recycles waste.

“Due to the fact that landfill space is limited in our island communities, I feel that projects such as Anaergia’s proposed material recovery facility should be encouraged to reduce the need for future landfill space on Maui.”

The plan at the Maui Energy Park in West Maui is to grow an energy crop and process it into renewable natural biogas through anaerobic digestion.

This project will revitalize almost 2,000 acres of high-quality agricultural lands left fallow after the demise of sugar cane and pineapple in West Maui.

MEP will use recycled water for the majority of its irrigation needs, allowing the nutrients in this water to be returned to the soil.

The renewable natural biogas can be used for power generation, household and commercial uses, and transportation.

Anaergia is currently in discussions with Maui Electric Co. to take a portion of this gas and generate electrical power onsite. This has the potential to increase grid stability and reliability in West Maui, McKelvey said.

“This project represents a win-win for West Maui, because not only will this facility be producing biofuel, it will also be using part of the wastewater generated in West Maui for energy needs, which will make us more self-sufficient in case of natural disasters – all while putting farm land back in production.”