Today before the opening bell, VIASPACE announced that its proprietary dedicated energy crop, Giant King™ Grass (GKG), is now growing in Hawaii.
“Hawaii has the highest electricity rates of any US state because their electricity is mostly generated from expensive imported oil,” stated VIASPACE CEO Dr. Carl Kukkonen. “Hawaii’s electric rates range from $.30 – $.40 per kilowatt hour depending on the cost of oil. This is two or three times the cost of electricity on the US mainland. Bioelectricity from Giant King Grass is substantially cheaper than oil generated electricity and has much lower carbon emissions. In addition, the large military presence on Hawaii has requirements for liquid biofuels for aircraft and ships. We believe that Hawaii should be an important part of the VIASPACE US strategy.”
Previously it was announced that the US Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) released GKG from quarantine for distribution in the United States. Hawaii, however, has additional plant import rules. As a result, the energy crop is being grown in a facility under the purview of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture.
Dr. Kukkonen personally supervised the planting in Hawaii and met with Department of Agriculture officials as well as with potential Giant King Grass customers in Hawaii. According to the CEO, the climate in Hawaii is ideal for GKG. Furthermore, there are substantial tracts of land available on different Hawaiian Islands that were previously used to grow sugarcane and pineapple.
“The Giant King Grass now growing in Hawaii was provided by the VIASPACE nursery in California,” commented VIASPACE Board Chairman Dr. Kevin Schewe. We have recently shipped GKG seedlings from California for projects with three other customers and Dr. Kukkonen is currently out of the country and personally supervising planting of GKG with one of these new customers. We are anxious to announce these projects and are respecting our clients’ internal timelines and needs in this regard. We have graduated from an R&D company and are busy executing our business strategy on a global scale.”
For more information on VIASPACE and its energy crop, visit www.VIASPACE.com
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