AES Hawaii Power Plant

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AES Hawaii Power Plant
Location near Kalaeloa, Hawai'i
Coordinates 21°18′12″N 158°06′22″W / 21.30333°N 158.10611°W / 21.30333; -158.10611Coordinates: 21°18′12″N 158°06′22″W / 21.30333°N 158.10611°W / 21.30333; -158.10611
Status Active
Commission date May 1992
Owner(s) AES Hawaii
Thermal power station
Primary fuel subbituminous coal, tires
Type steam
Feeding mines Indonesian coal mines
Cooling source closed-loop, cooled by forced air convection
Power generation
Nameplate capacity 203 MWe

AES Hawaii Power Plant is a medium-size coal-fired electrical power station located in the south-west corner of a Hawaiian island of Oahu. Owned and operated by AES Hawaii, the plant is the only coal-fired power plant in the state of Hawaii,[1] and is the state's leading single source of toxic pollutants.[2][3] AES Hawaii consists of a single unit on the grounds of Campbell Industrial Park, has a year-around capacity of 180 MWe, and in 2006 represented about 11% of Oahu's commercial electricity supply.[1][4]

Coal supply[edit]

AES Hawaii burns approximately 650,000 tons of subbituminous coal each year. The coal is imported from Indonesia via a marine terminal at the Barbers Point Harbor.[5] From there, coal is taken to the plant by a 1.6-mile (2.6 km) long conveyor system.

Alternate fuel sources[edit]

AES uses alternate fuel sources, such as old tires and used motor oil, to help power the plant. The plant also burns carbon from Board of Water Supply filters.[5] In addition, the ash waste product created by AES is used in concrete mixes.[5] In negotiations between Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) and AES in 2014, it was asked that the plant be converted to run partly on biomass.[6]

Environmental impact[edit]

AES achieves its smokeless power by introducing limestone early into the coal-combustion process, filtering out harmful sulfur dioxide early. Most coal plants use industrial scrubbers to remove harmful pollutants late in the combustion process,[5] which have a higher cost, but are much more efficient, removing as much as 98% of SO2, compared to the 75% removal rate at AES.[7][8]

According to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data, the AES plant was the leading source of toxic pollutants in the State of Hawaii, producing 662,599.80 pounds (300,550.21 kg) in toxic releases in 2013. This represented a pollutant increase for the plant of more than 100% from 2012.[2][3]

Coal tax break[edit]

In July 2015, it was learned that the state approved a special tax exemption for coal that was acknowledged to be for the benefit of AES.[9]


  1. ^ a b "Existing Electric Generating Units in the United States, 2006" (Excel). Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy. 2006. Archived from the original on 16 June 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-14. 
  2. ^ a b Nakaso, Dan; Williams, Dana (February 27, 2015). "Toxic pollutants up 12%". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. p. 1. 
  3. ^ a b "Hawaiian Electric : AES Hawaii tops emissions list, followed by HECO, military". 4-traders. February 27, 2015. Retrieved March 1, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Existing Electric Generating Units in the United States, 2008" (Excel). Energy Information Administration, U.S. Department of Energy. 2008. Archived from the original on 27 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-28. 
  5. ^ a b c d Clynton Namuo (June 18, 2004). "Oahu coal plant generates energy without black smoke". Pacific Business News. Retrieved 2009-01-02. 
  6. ^ HECO asking regulators for more time to negotiate agreement with Hawaii's only coal plant, Duane Shimogawa, Pacific Business News, December 22, 2014
  7. ^!OpenDocument
  8. ^
  9. ^ Dayton, Kevin (July 4, 2015). "Governor OKs tax break for coal". Honolulu Star-Advertiser. p. B1. 

External links[edit]