PUC: Big Island biofuel plan too expensive

HONOLULU (AP) - State regulators say a Big Island electric utility's plan to buy liquid biofuel is too expensive.

The state Public Utilities Commission again rejected Hawaii Electric Light Co.'s plan to buy 16 million gallons of the alternative fuel a year from the developer of a proposed Big Island biofuel production facility.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Friday the ruling says the contract price for Aina Koa Pono-produced biofuel is "unreasonable and inconsistent with the public interest."

The proposed contract price hasn't been disclosed. The utility proposed a surcharge that would add 90 cents a month to a typical residential Big Island bill and $1.08 for an Oahu residential bill.

The proposed biofuel contract is part of HELCO parent company Hawaiian Electric's effort to increase renewable energy sources by 2030.

Information from: Honolulu Star-Advertiser, http://www.staradvertiser.com

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