City, Hawai‘i Gas open renewable wastewater biogas facility
News Release from City and County of Honolulu, December 12, 2018
HONOLULU – The City and County of Honolulu and Hawai‘i Gas today unveiled the first-ever renewable natural gas (RNG) facility in Hawai‘i, located at the Honouliuli Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) in ‘Ewa Beach.
“Climate change and the resulting rise in sea level is already having an impact on O‘ahu and is the most critical issue we face,” said Mayor Kirk Caldwell. “The ability to capture biogas from our sewage is the type of innovative project that will help us reach our renewable energy goals sooner rather than later. I thank Hawai‘i Gas for partnering with us on this exciting initiative, which will help us meet our clean energy targets while also generating revenue for the city.”
The Honouliuli WWTP currently generates approximately 800,000 therms (1 therm is equivalent to 29.3 kWh) of energy annually. That number is expected to rise with several new developments on the horizon.
“The Department of Environmental Services has been looking at ways to utilize the biogas from our facilities for years, and it is a testament to our employees and Hawai‘i Gas to see this project come to fruition,” said ENV Director Lori Kahikina.
The RNG project will displace about 15,000 barrels of oil per year and reduce greenhouse gases equaling the removal of approximately 400 gasoline-powered cars. The project is expected to yield nearly $1.6 million annually in revenue for the city’s Sewer Fund.
“This is a great first step towards eliminating fossil fuel from our economy and sourcing renewable fuel locally,” said Josh Stanbro, the city’s chief resilience officer. “Being resilient means curbing emissions that leads to climate change, but also being more self-sufficient as an island society in terms of our food, energy and waste — this project moves Oʻahu forward.”
“Incorporating cost-effective renewable natural gas as part of our fuel mix is a key priority as we continue to do our part to advance Hawai‘i’s clean energy future,” added Alicia Moy, President and CEO of Hawai‘i Gas. “Renewable natural gas helps build resiliency and diversity to supply our energy needs using existing infrastructure to deliver greener fuels to our customers and a new revenue source to the city. This is a win-win partnership for the residents of Honolulu and our customers. We are pursuing similar projects like these to reverse greenhouse gas emissions and produce clean, sustainable energy.”
The partnership runs through Dec. 31, 2024.