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Army seeks public comments on EIS draft for biofuel plant

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The Army has invited the public to comment on a draft Environmental Impact Statement for the construction and operation of a 50-megawatt biofuel power generation plant that is expected to be put in service by 2017. 

Hawaiian Electric Co. will own and operate The Schofield Generating Station Project on 8.13 acres of land leased from the Army. The project is a quick-starting biofuel-capable facility located away from the shoreline. 

Funding for the $170 million plant still needs to be approved by the state Public Utilities Commission. 

The plant would help maintain grid stability as the turbines of the new units could quickly ramp up and down, according to HECO.

This capability of the plant would help stabilize Oahu’s electrical grid as the utility works to add more energy from solar and wind. 

Along with providing power to Oahu’s grid, the plant would serve as a backup source of energy for Schofield Barracks, Wheeler Army Airfield and the Field Station Kunia. 

The public has 45 days from Friday’s release of the draft to June 8 to comment. Two public meetings will be held during that time frame. One meeting will be held on May 20 from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Mililani Mauka Elementary School cafeteria and another will be held at the same time on May 21 at the Wahiawa District Park Recreation Center. 

Some of the environmental impacts that the draft evaluates include are land use, airspace use, visual resources, air quality, noise, traffic and transportation. 

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