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HTDC NEWS RELEASE: New $6.8 Million Waste to Energy System Unveiled

Posted on Feb 19, 2016 in Latest Department News

HONOLULU – The High Technology Development Corporation’s (HTDC) Hawaii Center for Advanced Transportation Technologies (HCATT) sponsored a demonstration of a $6.8 million renewable and clean, waste to energy generating system today.

The demonstration runs through this summer at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam (JBPHH), near the campus of the Hawaii Air National Guard (HIANG), and was done through a contract with Biomass Energy Systems, Inc. (BESI).  The waste to energy (WTE) project demonstration showcases the efficacy of converting 10 tons of waste per day to electricity using a state-of-the art gasification technology.

The Air Force Research Labs (AFRL) selected the Hawaii Air National Guard’s 154th Wing to demonstrate an integrated microgrid concept that tests the viability of using renewable energy and microgrids to assure that the Air Force can continue mission critical operations regardless of the state of the public utility grid or cyber-attack.  Phase I of the microgrid will utilize a rotary kiln gasifier that turns waste into fuel, heat and electricity.

“The Air Force’s effort to develop a microgrid testbed in Hawaii will help ensure that the Air National Guard has access to the energy it needs to execute its defense and homeland security missions, while providing a proof of concept that clean energy and microgrid technologies can support the Air Force’s broader energy security goals,” said Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii).

Schatz, who was instrumental in convincing the Air Force to select Hawaii as a demonstration site, officiated over the demonstration ceremony. JBPHH was selected based on Hawaii’s variety of renewable energy sources, the high cost of electricity and complexity of the Hawaii Air Guard’s 154th Wing, which operates the F-22, the most advanced fighter in the U.S. inventory.

“The Hawaii Guard’s flying wing is as complex as any Air Force fighter wing, but in a much more compact footprint,” said HCATT Director, and former HIANG Commander Brigadier General Stan Osserman. “This demonstration signifies an important step toward energy security and Net Zero goals for waste, not only for the military, but for civilian populations throughout the islands, and even beyond.”

The waste to energy project represents an investment by the Air Force to determine the feasibility of solving the challenge of waste disposal with the opportunity to offset the cost of electricity on base.  The system at JBPHH was built by BESI. It is designed to handle between two and 10 tons of waste per day and generate a net 200 to 300 kW of baseload power using four generators run from the syngas produced by the gasifier.

“The system is clean, reliable and rugged,” said Renee Comly, president and CEO of BESI.  “We are pleased to demonstrate how a system like this can be a real asset as we move towards a world run on clean energy.”

The BESI rotary kiln system was installed at JBPHH in December 2015 and has completed all of its initial testing this month.  It will begin running specific “recipes” for several weeks to collect data using specific “feed-stock” that can be expected from a military base with a population of about 2000 people.  The system will then be tested on its ability to produce hydrogen that can be used in fuel cell vehicles already being demonstrated at JBPHH.  It will then be used to produce a liquid jet fuel from waste.  Eventually, the Air Force plans to include the gasifier in the first phase of its micro-grid project at the end of this year.

About Biomass Energy Systems, Inc. (BESI)

BESI is a woman-owned engineering company that provides innovative technology for alternative and renewable energy projects. Based in University Park, IL, BESI was formed in 2007 to develop applications for alternative and renewable energy conversion technologies. Beginning with small-scale gasification, the Company has branded a variety of innovative designs and specific features that are an evolution in the application of gasification.

About Turnw2e Waste-To-Energy Gasification System

A proprietary BESI solution, the TurnW2E® Gasification system involves a series of basic units, which are designed to work together as one continuous operation. The systems are highly customizable based on energy and performance requirements. Applications include municipal solid waste, animal and crop wastes, cellulosic biomass, tires, non-recyclable plastics, and industrial waste. Through the use of an innovative and proprietary reactor design, the TurnW2E® Gasification System can accommodate a variety of materials with different moisture contents, providing maximum feedstock flexibility for gasification, while producing consistent syngas.

About HTDC (High Technology Development Corporation)

HTDC is a state agency, attached to the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT). The agency was established by the Hawaii State Legislature in 1983 to facilitate the development and growth of Hawaii’s commercial high technology industry. The state views high technology as an important driver in the diversification of Hawaii’s economy and one that provides quality, high-paying jobs for Hawaii residents.

About DBEDT (Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism)

DBEDT is Hawaii’s resource center for economic and statistical data, business development opportunities, energy and conservation information, and foreign trade advantages. DBEDT’s mission is to achieve a Hawaii economy that embraces innovation and is globally competitive, dynamic and productive, providing opportunities for all Hawaii’s citizens. Through its attached agencies, the department fosters planned community development, creates affordable workforce housing units in high-quality living environments, and promotes innovation sector job growth.

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Media Contacts:

Robbie Melton
High Technology Development Corporation
Office: (808) 539-3615
Email: [email protected]

Christine Hirasa
Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism
Phone: (808) 587-9006
Mobile: (808) 286-9017
Email: [email protected]

Ed Delia
Delia Associates, representing Biomass Energy Systems, Inc. (BESI)
Mobile: (908) 534-9044
Email:  [email protected]