Hawaii county to adopt Leyte geothermal technology

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Friday, March 30, 2012


OFFICIALS of Hawaii county of Hawaii, USA are strengthening their sisterhood ties with Ormoc City in its effort to maximize their island’s geothermal energy potential, adopting the technologies in Leyte.

In a visit this week, Hawaii county Mayor William Kenoi said the development in Leyte is also possible in their county as they move to use a 100-percent renewable energy.

“We recognize the growing uncertainty surrounding our energy needs in both our countries. We have come to learn from the Philippines how to develop, expand, rely on our own natural assets and energy resources such as geothermal,” Kenoi told reporters.

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The official said he was impressed with the facilities straddling the 107,625 hectares Leyte Geothermal Production Field in Ormoc City that even a third of its current capacity can supply the demand of their county’s entire island.

“We have about 30 megawatts (MW) of geothermal power and we are leading in Hawaii in that amount of energy. We have come to Ormoc and see 700 MW with our very own eyes. We saw one power plant producing more than 200 MW and that will bring power to the entire island of Hawaii,” Kenoi said.

“We know it is possible and once we know it’s possible and the potential exist and then the reality and implementation of that possibility is right around the corner for us,” he added.

Randy Kurohara, director of Hawaii county research and development, said they are very concerned about their energy security with the rising cost of fuel and their location “miles away” from mainland.

He said power produced from renewable energy accounts only 35 percent of the total demand and they are mainly dependent on fossil fuel. The demand of the entire island is 200 MW and they only have 30 MW coming from geothermal. Other sources are wind, solar, and hydro.

“We really believe that we have so much geothermal in our island and we should develop that further. We are optimistic that the reality will be brought forth in a very near future,” Kurohara added.

A report estimated that Hawaii Island’s geothermal resources have the capacity to produce between 500 MW and 700 MW of electrical power.

Imported oil has been the primary fuel not only for transportation but also for generating electricity in the Hawaiian Islands.

The Hawaiian delegation was composed of city officials and energy experts tasked to coordinate with the Energy Development Corporation on the project.

Ormoc City Councilor Jose Alfaro Jr., chair of the committee on energy and sisterhood, said top Ormoc officials also visited Hawaii last year to forge sisterhood agreements.

“Aside from energy, the sisterhood is also centered on exchange of ideas on education and cultural practices,” Alfaro said.

Sister city relationships are agreements that bind regions together in cultural and economic cooperation. The cities often have similar histories and similar economic drivers.

Hawaii county is a county located in the US state of Hawaii in the Hawaiian Island. The county’s land area comprises 62.7 percent of the state’s land area. It is the highest percentage by any county in the United States. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)

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