HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Seaweed as an energy source?
That's exactly what two Hawaii businesses are hoping will become a reality.
Kampachi Farms and Makai Ocean Engineering have received $1.5 million in federal funds to develop offshore seaweed as a potential energy source — and an alternative to fossil fuels.
"These grants recognize the innovative work being done in Hawaii to research and develop renewable energy resources," said U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono, member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. "This funding will assess the viability of developing seaweed as an energy source, and explore how to use local resources to meet Hawaii's renewable energy goals."
Under the grant, Kampachi Farms in Kailua-Kona got $500,000 to develop an offshore seaweed production farm and test harvesting techniques for future use in renewable energy production.
In addition, Makai Ocean Engineering in Honolulu got $995,978 to create a model that simulates the ocean to help researchers determine the proper design and estimate costs of offshore seaweed farming systems.