State ramps up solar power installation
Hawai'i more than doubled the amount of solar power installations that are tied to the electric grid last year, according to data in a new Solar Energy Industries Association report.
The review included figures showing 14 megawatts of solar power was installed here last year, or the sixth-highest amount among all states. That compared with the 13 megawatts in place in the state before 2009.
The report also cited Energy Information Agency data showing Hawai'i accounted for 5 percent of solar water heater shipments in 2008, the fourth-highest nationally.
FIRM'S BIOFUEL REFINERY PLANS ON TRACK
'Aiea-based ClearFuels Technology Inc. is edging closer to building a biofuel refinery in Hawai'i, with the company receiving $7.7 million of a $22.6 million Department of Energy grant to integrate its synthesis gas technology with another process.
ClearFuels has been working with Rentech Inc. to construct a biomass gasifier at Rentech's Energy Technology Center in Colorado. The partners are hoping to successfully combine ClearFuels' technology with Rentech's Fisher-Tropsch process to achieve low-cost production of renewable diesel and jet fuel from clean biomass.
"We are expecially anxious to build commercial facilities in our home state of Hawai'i," said Eric Darmstaedter, ClearFuels chief executive officer. The firm's efforts have been supported by U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye.
PIER 2 SPACE TO HOUSE SMALL BUSINESSES
Part of a warehouse at Pier 2 in Honolulu will be renovated for use as a small-business incubator space under a $3 million federal appropriation sought by U.S. Sens. Daniel Inouye and Daniel Akaka.
The project will be run by the state's Foreign Trade Zone and create office and work space for businesses seeking to crack into international markets. Funding is coming from the U.S. Commerce Department's Economic Development Administration.
The senators also announced that a Kapolei shipyard used by the military and local businesses will receive more than $1 million for equipment upgrades needed to expand service.