Thursday, June 16, 2011


Consistency is in the Eye of the Beholder

By Henry Curtis

HELCO and Aina Koa Pono (AKP) signed a contract in 2011 for electricity to be delivery in the immediate future (2012-13).

HELCO’s Application to the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) states: “AKP's Facility will use a technology called Microwave Catalytic Depolymerization ("MWDP") to produce biodiesel and bio-gasoline” (p.7), “the technology used for converting the biomass feedstock is not proven in commercial scale. This Project will be the largest scale to date of this technology and as such there are certain risks inherent to being the first to market.” (HELCO Application, Docket 2011-0005, pp.39-40)

In looking at alternatives to Big Wind, HECO dismissed projects such as Aina Koa Pono from consideration because they have (1) real fuel costs and (2) are not commercially proven.

HECO explained to the PUC a few months ago that in looking at alternatives to Big Wind: “Hawaiian Electric must target technologies that are commercially available, are capable of being developed within a reasonably near term, are available on a large-scale, and have no fuel cost.” (HECO Filing, Docket 2009-0162, Volume 1, page 9, dated May 9, 2011).

Thus according to HECO, those technologies which are not commercial and not proven may be deployed today -- but they are not an alternative to a project which is almost a decade away from possible deployment.

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Henry Curtis


Am I to conclude that there are very few energy sources that are proved in commercial scale? Sounds like we rate payers are paying for a science project? Is there a reasonable expectation that this project will generate more electritcy than an old man on a stationary bicycle turning a small generator?

Ah, another fan of Soylent Green, perhaps a prophetic movie (?)

Soylent Green, now with bonus Cesium!

Yes! And why no throw all that iodine 131 in there too. And make mine the new Tang flavors.

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