(BIVN) – Honua Ola Bioenergy, known in legal documents as Hu Honua Bioenergy, filed a Notice of Appeal with the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court on Wednesday, following the Hawaiʻi Public Utilities Commission order to deny the company’s Power Purchase Agreement with Hawaiian Electric in May 2022.
The latest legal move comes after the Hawaiʻi PUC recently denied Motions for Reconsideration from both Hawaii Electric and Hu Honua regarding the PPA rejection.
“We have a strong case based on the law, on the precedent of the PUC approving our PPA twice before, and on the evidence showing Honua Ola will produce clean renewable energy while benefiting the Big Island’s environment and creating much-needed jobs,” said Honua Ola president Warren Lee in a news release announcing the appeal. “We have met the burden for approval to begin operations by presenting an extensive record of objective evidence, facts, and analyses that is consistent with the requirements established by the Hawaii Supreme Court.”
“For the past three years, a majority of the PUC commissioners, led by the PUC’s outgoing chair, worked tirelessly toward a preordained result: ensuring that Hu Honua’s half-billion-dollar renewable energy project, which is 99% complete, never goes online,” the bioenergy company asserted in a Civil Appeal Docketing Statement filed with the Notice of Appeal. “The Orders must be vacated and reversed, and the Court must remand once again to the PUC for further proceedings consistent with the Court’s instructions and applicable law.”
The PUC stated in its May decision that it is not convinced that the Hu Honua project will reduce GHG emissions, “and has concerns about the potentially significant long-term environmental and public health impacts of the Project if the Amended PPA is approved.” The Commission also found that the PPA is “likely to result in high costs to ratepayers, both through its relatively high cost of electricity and through the potential displacement of other, lower cost, renewable resources.”