Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit and Expo

Big Island NELHA Tour


Tour of Facilities at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority

Monday September 19th, 2011

Join an exclusive tour is being organized for OCEANS '11 Kona attendees and family members to visit the facilities at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA). The land on which NELHA is situated consists of 870 acres with a steep offshore bathymetry for easy access to the ocean depths and what may become Hawaii's most valuable natural resource: deep ocean water. Cold deep seawater is delivered onshore at a chilly 6°C (43°F) from a 2,000-foot depth. Warm surface seawater from a source rated Class AA pure is at comfortably warm temperatures within the narrow range of 24.5° to 27.5°C (76° to 82°F) year 'round.

This resource has permitted NELHA to explore:

  • ALTERNATIVE ENERGY PRODUCTION from renewable resources, such as the "ocean thermal energy conversion" (OTEC) process.

  • SOLAR ENERGY-BASED TECHNIQUES from the ample sunshine available year 'round for testing and applying.

  • AQUACULTURE, which takes advantage of the abundant resources at NELHA to create optimum growing conditions for a wide range of marine organisms.

  • MARINE BIOTECHNOLOGY - optimizing large-scale production of marine microorganisms with vast pharmaceutical and nutraceutical market potential.

  • COLDWATER AGRICULTURE - chills the soil using cold deep seawater to improve on nature, dramatically increasing yields for land-based crops.

Organized bus tours from the Hilton Waikoloa Village to NELHA and back will be available as follows:

Tour Dates: Monday and Thursday afternoon - 19 and 22 September 2011.

Time: 12:30 to 5:30 pm, including up to six stops at on-site facilities and operational installations located at NELHA.

Where: NELHA Gateway Center and several NELHA Tenant Facilities involved in commercial activities spanning the range of alternative energy production, aquaculture, marine bio-technology, research and infrastructure supporting NELHA Operations.

Gateway - The NELHA Hawaii Gateway Energy Center (HGEC) is a sustainable, zero-net energy multi-use facility that engages in various distributed and renewable energy research, generation, development, demonstration, education, and outreach activities.



Sopogy - Sopogy pioneered Micro-Scaled Concentrating Solar Power or "MicroCSP" technologies. Sopogy's MicroCSP systems cost the same to install conventional Photovoltaic solar systems but increase the amount of energy generated bringing better investment returns to our customers. MicroCSP uses concentrating mirrors with optics, low cost thermal storage, sun tracking, and an affordable systems installation technique to keep the costs down while delivering a quick payback.


Big Island Abalone – Big Island Abalone Corporation (BIAC) produces Kona Coast Abalone™, a premium stock of Ezo (Japanese Northern) abalone. Kona Coast Abalone (Japanese Ezo) are shipped live to markets in Japan, Hawaii, and the mainland USA. The quality of Kona Coast Abalone is highly praised by many chefs and served at many top-end restaurants in Tokyo, Waikiki, Las Vegas, and San Francisco.


NELHA 55 Inch Pumping Station – In 2002 NELHA concluded a major expansion to the existing NELHA Seawater Supply System with addition of two oceanic 55-inch diameter supply pipelines for deep and surface seawater, and two onshore components: an underground pump station, and a system of 40-inch deep seawater and 28-inch surface seawater delivery pipelines. Fully built out system pumping capacities are up to 40,500 gpm (2.56m3/s) of surface seawater and 27,000 gpm (1.80m3/s) of deep seawater. The surface seawater intake is located offshore at a depth of approximately 80-feet below the ocean surface. The 10,247 foot long deep seawater pipe has an intake at 3,000 feet below the ocean surface to access 4°C (39°F) source seawater. It is the deepest seawater pipe (DSW) ever deployed in the world’s oceans.


Cyanotech –is a world leader in microalgae technology. Cyanotech produces numerous products from microalgae grown at its 90-acre facility in Hawaii using patented and proprietary technology and distributes them to nutritional supplement, nutraceutical and cosmeceutical makers and marketers in 58 countries on six continents.


Makai OTEC – Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) is a process that can produce electricity by using the temperature difference between deep cold ocean water and warm tropical surface waters. OTEC plants pump large quantities of deep cold seawater and surface seawater to run a power cycle and produce electricity. The heat exchanger test facility, pictured below, is a 40’-tall tower that supports up to three different evaporators, three different condensers, 24” seawater piping, and an accurately instrumented ammonia working fluid piping system with two pumps and pressure vessels. This test facility will allow Makai to measure the performance of evaporators and condensers, as a function of water velocity, temperature difference, and ammonia flow rate.


Who: OCEANS '11 Kona attendees and family members.

Cost: - Adults (18 and up) $80.00
- Children (4 to 17) $55.00
- Infants (0 to 3) sitting in parent’s lap Free.

Reservations: See link below to go to Aloha Holidays reservation form and items 17A and B. Fill in blocks as appropriate and submit. You are encouraged to make reservations as soon as possible as this will be a very popular tour. Deadline for tour reservations is 30 August 2011.

To book, click here and choose either 17a or 17b on the Reservation Page Listing.

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