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Posted: Thursday, October 11th, 2012 9:11 AM HST

Kauai to get electricity from burning woodchips

By Associated Press

LIHUE, Hawaii (AP) A company plans to generate electricity for Kauai by burning wood chips from trees grown and harvested on the island.

Green Energy Team LLC said Wednesday it received U.S. Department of Energy loan guarantee that will allow it to begin construction on a biomass-to-energy plant near Koloa next year.

The $90 million plant will supply more than 11 percent of Kauai's electricity needs.

The project is expected to create more than 200 construction jobs and 39 permanent operating jobs.

Green Energy will sell power from the plant to the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative under a contract approved by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission.

The utility says the plant will contribute significantly to its efforts to generate 50 percent of its power from renewable resources by 2023.

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