Ulupono Initiative

Hawaii BioEnergy

A consortium working to reduce Hawaii’s dependence on imported fossil fuels.

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Ulupono Initiative joined three of Hawaii’s largest landowners – Kamehameha Schools, Grove Farm Company, and Maui Land & Pineapple Company – and two investment firms, Khosla Ventures and Finistere Ventures, to support Hawaii BioEnergy’s (HBE) research on the viability of renewable energy crops, products and services in Hawaii.

Founded in 2006, HBE wants to use locally produced biofuels to displace imported fossil fuels with a mission to improve energy security, decrease greenhouse gas emissions and reduce energy costs.

In an agreement approved by the Hawaii Public Utilities Commission in October 2013, HBE will be supplying Hawaiian Electric Co.’s Kahe Power Plant with 10 million gallons per year of locally produced biofuels for power generation over 20 years.

Why We Invested

Ulupono’s renewable energy goals align with HBE’s mission. The partners believe locally grown feedstocks for biofuel production will have a number of positive impacts:

  • Reducing Hawaii’s dependence on oil for power
  • Improving energy sustainability and security
  • Strengthening food self-reliance
  • Creating jobs in our communities
  • Repurposing mostly fallow and underutilized lands 


  • Reduces our dependence on oil for power by 4% at Oahu’s largest power plant at Kahe with the anticipated 10 million gallons of biofuel produced per year on a long-term fixed rate contract
  • Creates collaboration among many of Hawaii’s major landowners to improve the state’s energy independence.
  • Repurposes mostly fallow and underutilized lands to produce biofuel feedstock crops
  • Improves Hawaii’s energy sustainability and self-reliance with locally grown feedstocks for biofuel production, while creating jobs in our community
  • Strengthens food self-reliance through production of feed, fertilizers and other related byproducts

At a Glance

Investment Area
Energy, Food, Waste
Financial Model
Finistere Ventures
General Atomics
Grove Farm
Kamehameha Schools
Khosla Ventures
Maui Land & Pineapple