Hawaii considers special bonds for solar desalination

Hawaii Island is looking to introduce new special purpose bonds to build and operate solar-powered desalination plants, reports westhawaiitoday.com.

The Department of Budget and Finance could issue up to $100 million in bonds to support construction of two or more desalination plants which use 100 per cent renewable solar energy. The special-purpose bonds can be made available for public-interest projects and are for purchase by private investors. The Committee on Ways and Means voted to pass the measure with certain amendments. The legislation will now be voted on in the Senate and House of Representatives.

The funding could be used to support construction of a 6,000 m3/d plant by Trevi systems and Kona Coast Water.  The project secured $2 million federal funding in June 2018 in a tranche of US Department of Energy awards.

The site will be the old Keyhole Solar Power (Sopogy) site leased by the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority. The project is expected to help the state meet the need for 100 million gallons a day additional freshwater capacity by 2030.