Hawaiʻi Gas selects Eurus Energy America and Bana Pacific for hydrogen and RNG projects

May 27, 2024. Hawaiʻi Gas, the state’s only regulated gas utility, has announced the selection of two projects from its 2023 request for proposals (RFP) for renewable hydrogen and renewable natural gas (RNG), key resources that will enable the company to shift away from its reliance on fossil fuel. The two companies selected are Eurus Energy America for a renewable hydrogen project and Hawaiʻi-based Bana Pacific for an RNG project. Both projects will produce gas on Oʻahu and will enable Hawaiʻi Gas to increase hydrogen and RNG concentrations in its fuel mix. The selection of these two projects represents forward movement on Hawaiʻi Gas’ path toward decarbonization, with a focus on diversification, energy resiliency, and maintaining affordability.

“We are firm in our commitment to a sustainable and energy-resilient Hawaiʻi,” said Alicia Moy, president and CEO of Hawaiʻi Gas. “While we have led the nation in hydrogen and RNG blending for over 50 years, it’s our kuleana to continue innovating to further reduce our overall carbon footprint. Partnering with Eurus Energy America and Bana Pacific helps increase our investment in renewables, diversifies our fuel supply with local resources, and demonstrates projects that can scale and support the state’s clean energy goals.”

Last year’s RFP was executed in alignment with the clean energy strategy in Hawaiʻi Gas’ Integrated Resource Plan filed with the Hawaiʻi Public Utilities Commission (PUC), and final project approval is contingent on the PUC. The companies were chosen after a thorough review and evaluation process of eight project submissions. Evaluation criteria for each project submission included technical maturity, financial capability, and their overall benefit to the community and local economy. Hawai’i Gas continues to explore a variety of future projects to advance its clean energy goals and releases annual sustainability reports tracking its progress.

Hawaiʻi Gas’ synthetic natural gas (SNG), produced on Oʻahu since 1974,contains up to 15% hydrogen, the highest percentage of any natural gas utility in the United States. Through this future partnership with Eurus Energy America—which will produce green hydrogen using solar power and recycled water—Hawaiʻi Gas aims to increase the percentage of hydrogen in its fuel mix to up to 20%, establishing it as a leader in the delivery of green renewable hydrogen fuel.

Hawaiʻi Gas has produced RNG from biogas at the City and County of Honolulu’s Honouliuli Wastewater Treatment Plant since 2018. The new Bana Pacific project will be a complementary facility, growing and utilizing bana grass as a feedstock to produce RNG. Also known in Hawai’i as cane grass, the non-invasive grass is currently used as cattle feed and requires relatively little water to grow. Bana grass enhances the soil’s ability to naturally sequester carbon, and the RNG production process results in a byproduct of organic fertilizer.

“RNG is an essential part of the clean energy discussion in Hawaiʻi,” said George Pritchard, president and Chief Operating Officer at Bana Pacific. “It’s a net-energy producing process, meaning we produce much more energy than we use. That energy can then be swapped 1-1 as a direct replacement to non-renewable fossil fuels. This RNG production facility will create long-term local jobs in agriculture and renewable energy. So, this is truly a win-win all around.”