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Feds give Hawaii companies $1.5M to develop seaweed as energy source

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The U.S. Department of Energy awarded $1.5 million to two Hawaii businesses to develop offshore seaweed as a potential clean energy source.

U.S. Sen. Mazie K. Hirono, a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, announced the award today from the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy program.

Makai Ocean Engineering of Honolulu received $995,978 to create a model simulating the ocean that would help researchers determine the proper design and estimated costs of offshore seaweed farming systems. Kampachi Farms of Kailua-Kona received $500,000 to test harvesting techniques and develop an offshore seaweed production farm for future use in renewable energy production.

“These grants recognize the innovative work being done in Hawaii to research and develop renewable energy resources,” said Hirono. “This funding will assess the viability of developing seaweed as an energy source, and explore how to use local resources to meet Hawaii’s renewable energy goals.”

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