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Alan Wong lends name to new coffee blend

Hawaii Coffee Co. has launched its first Kau coffee blend with the endorsement, name and logo of renowned Hawaii chef and restaurateur Alan Wong.

The 10 percent Kau coffee blend already is marketed on the company’s website and will be introduced to the media at a Monday cupping event. The Alan Wong line includes French roast, medium roast and vanilla macadamia nut.

Separately, Hawaii Coffee Co. offers a "Chef Series" line of its Royal Kona coffee blends using 10 percent Kona coffee. The line bears the names of chefs Sam Choy, Roy Yamaguchi, Chef Sakai and Russell Siu’s 3660 on the Rise.

The new Alan Wong blends are the company’s first using coffee grown in Hawaii island’s Kau District and will be sold under the Royal Hawaiian banner.

Hawaii Coffee Co. also owns the Lion Coffee Brand.

Mauna Kea Beach renovation completed

Prince Resorts Hawaii has completed a multimillion-dollar renovation of the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel and the nearby Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel, which are in the Mauna Kea Resort on Kohala’s Gold Coast.

About 85 beachfront guest rooms and all six suites in the Mauna Kea were refreshed to bring them in line with earlier renovations to the main building. Hapuna Beach rooms were redesigned and got a technology upgrade that includes 55-inch flat-screen HDTVs, high-speed Internet and plug-in panels. Hapuna Beach’s pool area, lobby and three restaurants also have been updated. The two hotels combined offer 602 guest rooms and 100,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space.

Volta adds EV charging station at Ward

Volta Industries has installed another electric vehicle charging station at Ward Centers, its sixth at the shopping complex and its 20th on Oahu.

The Honolulu-based company dedicated the charging station Thursday in a ceremony that included government officials, shopping center management and others.

Volta also said it is proceeding with the installation of its first neighbor island EV charging station at Whaler’s Village on Maui. The charging station is scheduled to be dedicated next month, according to a news release from Volta.

The company uses a business model in which EV owners are able to hook up to a Volta charging station at no cost. The service is paid for through advertising on the charging kiosks. Volta generally places the charging stations in locations with high visibility, such as shopping malls.

Kauai utility hires firm to back up PV project

The Kauai Island Utility Cooperative has hired a Texas-based energy storage company to provide a battery backup system for the utility’s 12-megawatt solar power project being built near Koloa.

The 2-megawatt battery system developed by Xtreme Power will be used to smooth out energy fluctuations from the solar project before the power is fed into the KIUC grid. It is the eighth battery system that Xtreme Power has deployed in Hawaii in connection with a renewable-energy project.

One of the battery systems, at First Wind’s wind energy project in Kahuku, was destroyed in a 2012 fire and was replaced with a device that uses a different type of technology to address the power fluctuations.

Xtreme Power’s battery systems are also used at other solar projects on Kauai and Lanai, and wind projects on Oahu and Maui. The KIUC Koloa project is scheduled to be completed in May.

Mobi PCS upgrades network on Molokai

Mobi PCS has installed a 3G network on Molokai, boosting performance of the company’s voice-and-data network on the island, company officials said Thursday. The upgrade increased data download and browsing speeds by 10 times, while voice-calling capacity during times of high use has been doubled. Mobi PCS is Hawaii’s only locally based wireless provider.


Ala Moana Hotel has announced the appointment of Keith Yoshi­hata as the new manager of Rumours. He is a 25-year industry veteran who has been employed by Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., Planet Hollywood in Seattle and worked as general manager of Chart House restaurant on Maui.

Finance Insurance has announced the appointment of Melvin Young to president and chief operating officer. His experience includes 37 years in the insurance industry, including marketing manager and personal and commercial lines at Fairmont Specialty (a part of Crum & Forster insurance companies) as well as vice president of personal lines at Fairmont Specialty Group (formerly known as TIG Insurance).

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